Recipe from Pasta Plus!! //



Prep time: 30 min - Cook time: 30 hour - Total time: 1 hour
Preparation - Medium
Yield: Serves 6 - 8

Our version of this classic Sicilian dish comes from the Mulé family of Altavilla Milicia Sicily. Special thanks to Aunt Sarah Giacalone.

  • 2 tins sardines packed in oil, drained and chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower trimmed and chopped very fine
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic sliced thin
  • 4 anchovy filets
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted and chopped fine
  • 1 small jar capers drained and minced
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 handful parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound bucatini
  • 1 1/2 cup breadcrumbs oiled and toasted
  • 1 qt. homemade marinara sauce (approximately 1 cup is what you will need for pasta dish the rest is for serving)
OO Large pasta pot, frying pan, large serving bowl.

  1. Wash, trim and chop cauliflower. Put into pot with about 8 cups cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 5 - 8 minutes. Careful not to overcook. Remove with slotted spoon, drain in colander, needs to be fairly dry. Reserve cooking water.
  2. Remove heads and tails from sardines. Cut in small pieces.
  3. Heat 1/4 cup oil in frying pan. Sauté onions and garlic over medium heat until golden. Add capers and sauté, add chopped sardines and anchovies. As they cook, crush sardines with back of spoon to make a thick paste. Do the same with anchovies. Add pine nuts, saffron, salt and pepper. In a separate pan, heat remaining oil and lightly sauté the cauliflower add to the sardine sauce. Add 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce being careful not to make this to wet. Mix well.
  4. Add cauliflower water to pot of water to boil pasta, boil pasta until to just al dente, about 10 - 12 minutes. Drain.
  5. In a very large bowl put half the pasta and dress with half the sardine sauce. Sprinkle handful of cheese and breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup marinara sauce and mix well with your hands to coat all the pasta. Repeat procedure for remaining ingredients. This is a fairly dry pasta dish so be careful not to add too much marinara sauce. Return to pot for authentic style serving or serve from pasta dish.
  6. Pasta may be served warm or room temperature.
  7. Serve with a side of warm sauce and extra breadcrumbs and cheese.