Penne with cauliflower and pistachios

Inspired by traditional Sicilian cuisine, this quick and hearty pasta dish blends a handful of ingredients for a simple meal with big flavors. Saffron’s an expensive ingredient, but just a pinch adds unexpected color and nuance.

Penne with Cauliflower and Pistachios
Casey Barber


  • 1 pound penne 
  • 1 clove large garlic, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil1/3 cup roughly chopped pistachios
  • 1 pinch saffron (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized florets


  • Bring a stockpot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente according to package instructions and drain.
  • While the pasta water comes to a boil, heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large, wide-bottomed saucepan or straight-sided saute pan over medium heat. Add the saffron, if using, and cook for 1 minute to release its natural flavor and color into the olive oil.
  • Add the cauliflower florets and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower softens and starts to turn golden brown. Add the garlic and pistachios and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir in the cooked penne and add a splash of olive oil to finish the dish.

This recipe originally appeared on iVillage.