shells with roasted cauliflower, anchovies + ricotta


This recipe is super simple and really makes you realize  pasta doesn’t have to be drenched in soupy sauce to taste good. The anchovies set the background flavor but still manage to be subtle, not fishy. The cauliflower is by far the best part of this recipe, so be sure to use a big head. Roasting it makes it so meaty and sweet that you’ll be digging around for more. If you have time, make the ricotta from scratch. It makes the dish so much more special.

And as promised, here is Friday’s Style Bite with Annie Ladino.

Style Bite with Annie Ladino

shells with roasted cauliflower, anchovies + ricotta

(serves 4) adapted from Everyday Food

1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets

1 can (15-ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving

1 pound pasta shells

8 anchovy fillets, plus 2 tablespoons anchovy oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, lemons reserved

1 cup fresh ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl, combine cauliflower and chickpeas; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss gently. On a baking sheet, arrange mixture in a single layer and roast until cauliflower is tender and chickpeas are crunchy, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water;  drain and set aside. Return pot to medium heat; add anchovy oil and garlic. Cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add anchovies; cook until almost dissolved, about 30 seconds. Add reserved pasta, lemon zest and 3 tablespoon of pasta water or enough to create a sauce that coats pasta. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Toss in cauliflower mixture. To serve, divide pasta onto plates. Top with 1/4 cup ricotta, a drizzle of olive oil and a lemon wedge if desired.

anchovies in olive oil

*Anchovies are an acquired taste, but once you get cooking with them you’ll learn to appreciate their flavor. Start easy with pasta, then work your way up to eating them straight! Learn more about the benefits of cooking with anchovies here.



4 thoughts on “shells with roasted cauliflower, anchovies + ricotta

  1. I definitely understand, anchovies are an acquired taste. I would do bacon instead. The anchovies add a depth of flavor so I think bacon would be a great substitute. Cook the garlic with the cauliflower and chickpeas instead and ditch the lemon altogether. Add olive oil as needed to coat the pasta. Let me know how it goes! If you don’t eat meat try smoked paprika or this Trader Joe’s seasoning blend that tastes just like bacon:

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