Pasta con i Broccoli Siciliani Arriminati (Vegan)

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  • 400g x pasta turbanti
  • 1  x large cauliflower cut in florets
  • 1 x large white onion finely diced
  • 50g x raisins
  • 25g x pine nuts
  • 3 x anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 15g x powdered saffron
  • 75g x coarse breadcrumbs (mollica atturata)
  • Oil for cooking
  • Sicilian extra virgin olive oil


This dish has so many great things about it that are a wonderful representation of Sicilian cuisine and the melting pot that is Sicily’s culture. This dish originates from Palermo the capital of Sicily and with its history of many invasions, Palermo and this dish is heavily influenced by the Arabic settlement. With the use of saffron, raisins and pine nuts this dish is not only full of history and culture but flavour too.

Traditionally made with a long pasta like bucatini, we personally prefer to use the turbanti pasta as our choice of shape as the “broccoli” cauliflower gets trapped into all the nooks of the pasta itself. Also the addition of anchovies is key to this dish, but we know many who either love or hate anchovies so we have kept it as an optional addition.

There may be some confusion with the name of this dish too as we are in fact using cauliflower in the recipe but it’s called “broccoli Siciliani”. This is because there is a Sicilian version of the cauliflower which we are used to here in the UK, it’s actually a very large green cauliflower type vegetable, similar in taste and colour to a romanesco broccoli and can be found throughout the markets in Sicily from september through to march.


To prepare this dish it is important to have all the components ready and prepared as it is quick to cook.

Firstly prepare the raisins by boiling hot water and pouring over the raisins in a bowl to rehydrate them for 15 minutes and then drain.

Prepare a pan with boiling water which is large enough to cook the “broccoli” florets as well as large enough to cook the pasta as we will use the same cooking liquid to cook both.

Prepare the breadcrumbs for the mollica atturata by heating up a frying pan adding in 3 tbsps of cooking oil and gently fry and toast the bread crumbs until golden brown. Season with sea salt and keep to one side to cool down.

At the same time cook the “broccoli” florets in the boiling salted water until tender. Once cooked, drain the “broccoli” and keep the cooking liquid. Place the cooking liquid back into the pan and bring back to the boil and begin to cook the pasta to al dente.

Tip* Check the manufacturer’s guideline for the pasta cooking times, we always cook for 2 minutes less than suggested as we continue the cooking of the pasta within the sauce.

Finely slice the onion and begin to gently fry in a large saucepan with 3-4 tbsps of cooking oil. Once the onion is translucent, add in the pine nuts and lightly toast in the pan with the onions. If you are using anchovies this is the time to add them into the pan and cook until disintegrated.

Once the pine nuts are lightly toasted, add in the raisins and cook for a few minutes before adding in the saffron and then the cooked “broccoli”.

Break the “broccoli” up with the back of a spoon and add in a small ladle of the pasta/broccoli cooking liquid to create a creamy texture. Make sure all the ingredients are well mixed “arriminati”  before draining the pasta and mixing through the sauce.

Finish the pasta mixed into the sauce with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve on a platter scattered with the mollica atturata on top (toasted breadcrumbs).

Buon appetito!

Why not try another one of our delicious healthy recipes such as our Capuliatu con i Broccoli (Vegan)

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