Enjoy this great alternative to a meat ragu. Made using cauliflower, it is cheaper and sneaks in an extra one of your five-a-day, while the anchovy adds a deep, rich flavour
- Serves: 4 persons
- 500g cauliflower, leaves removed
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 1onion, finely chopped
- 2celery sticks, finely chopped
- 1large carrot, finely chopped
- 3garlic cloves, minced
- ½tin (15g) anchovies, drained
- 1tsp fennel seeds
- 2tbsp tomato purée
- 100ml passata
- 200g rigatoni
- 30g grated parmesan, plus extra to garnish
- small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Step 1Chop the cauliflower florets and stem into chunks and put into a food processor. Process until finely broken down – you might need to do this in two batches. Put in a bowl and set aside.
Step 2Put the oil in a large, deep frying pan over a low-medium heat. Fry the onion, celery, carrot and garlic, seasoned with salt, for 20-25 mins or until softened and slightly caramelised.
Step 3Add the anchovies and fennel seeds, and fry for 2-3 mins or until the anchovies have melted. Add the tomato purée and passata, turn up the heat to medium and cook for 3-4 mins, stirring often, until the mixture darkens and the oil starts to separate. Add the cauliflower, stirring everything together, then continue to cook for 6-8 mins or until the cauliflower has cooked down and starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Step 4Meanwhile, bring a large pan of well-salted water to the boil. Cook the pasta until only just al dente, then drain, reserving 400ml of the cooking water. Add half the water, pasta and parmesan to the cauliflower mixture. Stir together, cooking for a further minute and adding a splash more water if it’s too dry.
Step 5Divide the pasta and cauliflower ragu between four bowls, garnishing with more parmesan and the parsley.