Pic of Cauliflower with puttanesca and rosemary farinata

Cauliflower with puttanesca and rosemary farinata

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Vegetarian mains

Cauliflower with puttanesca and rosemary farinata

Main Serves 2 40 min
Puttanesca is a rich sauce traditionally spiked with anchovies, a role picked up here by the salty tang of extra olives and capers, in order to keep this version veggie.

Cook's notes

Farinata (also known as socca) is a dense chickpea pancake, often baked in shallow trays in wood-fired ovens. It is perfect to drag through and mop up rich sauces and is often eaten with strong oily fish.


  • 100g chickpea (gram) flour
  • olive oil
  • 10g rosemary
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 400g passata
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 60g pitted black olives
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 cauliflowers
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 30 min
  • Step 1

    Start by tipping 330ml of warm water into a bowl. Add the chickpea flour and just shy of 1 teaspoon of salt. Whisk well to beat out any lumps. Leave to sit while you make the sauce. Put the capers in a mug of water and leave them to soak too.
  • Step 2

    Peel and slice the red onion. Wash and finely dice the celery stalk. Peel and finely chop or crush 2 garlic cloves. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and celery for 10 minutes until starting to soften. Add the garlic for the final 2 minutes.
  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, put your oven on to 210°C/Gas Mark 6. Trim the leaves away from the cauliflowers. Cut into 2cm slices, leaving the very end bits that don't slice well to one side (save for a cauliflower cheese). Lay on a lightly greased baking tray and drizzle over a little oil. Add the passata to the onion mix plus 120ml of water and bring to a simmer.
  • Step 4

    Drain the capers and roughly chop them. Halve the olives and add to the pan with the flaked chilli, capers and sugar. Stir well. Season cautiously with salt and pepper, the capers and olives will bring some salt with them. Cook on a gentle simmer for 20 minutes, until thickened.
  • Step 5

    Meanwhile, put the cauliflower in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, until just tender but still with a bite. Put a pan of salted water on to boil. Strip the leaves from 2 stalks of rosemary and roughly chop them. 5 minutes before the sauce is ready turn your grill onto medium-high.Whisk 1 tablespoon (15ml) of olive oil into the chickpea batter along with some black pepper.
  • Step 6

    Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the farinata batter to the pan, evenly scatter over the rosemary and fry for about 4 minutes on a medium-high heat, until the bottom is golden brown. Transfer the farinata pan to your grill and cook until the top is golden brown and the edges are nice and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Check that the centre is set.
  • Step 7

    Serve the roasted cauliflower with the sauce spooned over the top and the farinata on the side to mop it all up.

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