Short Rigatoni with Cauliflower, Anchovies and Raisins

You'll find recipes like this in Sicily, where sweet, salty, and aromatic meet in joyful harmony.

4 cups small cauliflower florets
12 ounces dried mezzi rigatoni or radiatore
1/3 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 anchovy fillets
1/4 cup golden raisins, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fennel fronds
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook 6 minutes, until soft; transfer to a colander with a slotted spoon. Return the water to a boil. Cook the pasta 12 minutes, until just tender. Drain well, reserving 1/3 cup cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and butter in a very large skillet. When the butter melts, add the anchovies and mash into the hot oil. Add the cooked cauliflower, raisins, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook over high heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the reserved pasta water and cook, stirring up browned bits, about 1 minute. Stir in the cooked pasta; add the fennel fronds and salt and pepper. Cook until hot, spoon into bowls, and sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 4