Serves 4

At first glance, it looks like there is way too much chopping in this recipe and the fried cauliflower may seem strange to some people. But as soon as you start cooking and all of the aromas come together, you'll find it very difficult not to start eating it straight out of the pan - the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan are best eaten in greedy solitude.


400g spaghetti

100ml extra virgin olive oil

1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into thumb-sized pieces

3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

3 anchovy fillets, chopped

2 large red chillies, chopped (keep the seeds in if you like a little more heat)

50g salted capers, rinsed and chopped

100g pitted olives, chopped

1 bunch of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped

60g toasted sourdough breadcrumbs

200g Parmesan cheese

1 lemon, cut into wedges


Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain, then cool; while cooking drizzle with a little olive oil and gently toss.

In a large, heavy-based frying pan, heat the rest of the oil over a medium heat, add the cauliflower and fry until they just start to change colour. Add the garlic mix well then the olives, anchovies, chilli and capers. When the cauliflower starts to become tender and take on a rich, golden colour, add half the parsley and the cooked spaghetti. When the pasta is hot, add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and remainder of the parsley.

The Parmesan will start to stick to the pan; use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan (this is where the term 'strasicata' comes from, meaning 'to drag'). Remove from the heat and serve immediately with a wedge of lemon.