Gigli con Cavolfiore Viola (Purple Cauliflower)

30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


  • 1 pound gigli (or penne)
  • 12 heads purple cauliflower, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmigiano cheese, grated

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  1. In a large skillet, sauté the garlic in the olive oil until golden. Add the broth, being careful that it doesn’t splatter when it enters the oil. When the broth is hot, add the cauliflower and cover, cooking for 5-10 minutes until tender, but not soft. Add about 1 teaspoon of each salt and black pepper, depending on taste.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until al dente and drain it. Add to the cauliflower and mix over medium heat. Serve immediately serve with a sprinkle of Parmigiano.

Ed's Review

There I was, in church for Easter Sunday, and the priest, in a monotone, said, “Today, we are song and dance people. We are Hallelujah people.” I looked around and thought, "Hmm... I know song and dance and Hallelujah people. Sorry Padre, but these are golf and tennis people."

He had lost me. My mind wandered from the profane to the mundane. "What’s the deal with all the purple around here? Purple seats, purple clothes, purple flowers. I like purple," I thought, "Some of my favorite foods are purple: blackberries, eggplant, Chianti." Naturally, I dreamed of pasta, "What about purple cauliflower with gigli (lilies) for Easter?"

I went home and googled purple. My instincts were correct: Purple was the color worn by Roman Emperors. Purple is the color of royalty. It's the color of  Mardi Gras. For Catholics, it is the color of Lent, when it represents humility and penance. In short, purple is both powerful and cool.

So here, courtesy of a boring priest and a wandering mind, I present gigli con cavolfiore viola. Truthfully, it tastes like white cauliflower. Whether it triggers thoughts of penance or Mardi Gras is up to you, but either way, you'll say Hallelujah.

Buon Appetito!
Ed Garrubbo

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