Romanesco Cauliflower, Oregano and Spinach

PuttanescaIn The Seduction Cookbook, I wrote a recipe for puttanesca, adoring the sensual quality of the fragrant, salty, briny sauce and the legend that its origin was a siren’s call to lure sailors into salons of pleasure. Now it’s a favorite of my family, and a perfect base to fortify with vegetables. Be ready to be transported, it also makes your kitchen smell like an Italian coastal town.

Puttanesca Sauce with Romanesco Cauliflower, Spinach and Oregano
Adapted from The Seduction Cookbook
Serves 4

1 head romanesco cauliflower, cut into florets
Olive oil
Fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 anchovy filets, chopped
1 onion, diced
2 15-ounce cans whole tomatoes with their juices, pureed in a food processor
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 pinch red chile flakes
1 bunch spinach, cleaned and chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Season the cauliflower with olive oil, pepper and salt, and roast in the oven until browned and tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat a large stock pot and add olive oil. Cook the garlic, anchovies and onions until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, olives, capers, oregano and chile flakes, and bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the tomatoes thicken and sweeten, about 30-40 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, then stir in the cauliflower. Season with pepper and salt, and serve over pasta, fish or chicken.Puttanesca 2

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