In Italy, cauliflower can be white, purple, or light green. The variety I’ve used here is Romanesco broccoli, but it is actually a green cauliflower. Very delicate in taste and texture, it requires a watchful eye to avoid overcooking. Ricotta salata is fresh ricotta salted to shed moisture. It is tangy and moist, but firm.
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ medium onion, finely diced
- 2 small heads Romanesco broccoli, white cauliflower, or Broccoflower
- Sea salt
- 12 oil-cured black olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1 pound imported thick or regular spaghetti
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for serving
- Ricotta salata, shaved paper-thin
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and add the onion. Cook over low heat until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes.
Core the cauliflowers and cut into bite-size florets. Add the cauliflower, ¾ cup water, and a touch of salt to the onion; cook at a simmer until the florets are tender but hold their shape. Stir in the olives and simmer until hot.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain.
Toss the pasta with the sauce. Season with pepper to taste. Sprinkle about ¼ cup pecorino over the pasta and gently toss. Top with shavings of ricotta salata. Serve with additional grated pecorino at the table.
Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving, but does not include additional grated Pecorino Romano for serving or Ricotta Salata.