Hot or Cold Spicy Cauliflower & Seafood Pasta

Hot or Cold Spicy Cauliflower & Seafood Pasta
  • 8Servings


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound penne
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cored
  • 1/4 cup EVOO (plus more if serving cold)
  • 6 anchovy fillets or 2 tsp. anchovy paste
  • 2 small mild to medium-hot chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 fresh italian cherry or fresno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 ribs celery heart, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 small bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped (plus more if served cold
  • 2 sprigs oregano, finely chopped (plus more if serving cold)
  • 1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (plus more if serving cold
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon peanut or other high-temp vegetable oil
  • 1 pound mixed seafood (shrimp, scallops, chunks of firm, white-fleshed fish pieces of lobster or crab)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/3 cup dry white vermouth


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the penne and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain, reserving a ladleful of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is working, in a medium dutch oven, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil; salt it. Add the cauliflower cored side down, cover and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon, spider or tongs and let cool slightly. Cut into bite-size florets.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO, 4 slow turns of the pan, over medium heat. Add the anchovies to melt into the oil. Stir in all the chiles, the celery, onion, bell pepper and garlic; season with salt, pepper and the oregano. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the reserved pasta cooking water, the parsley and lemon juice. Stir in the pasta and cauliflower and toss to combine. Turn off the heat.

In a large skillet, heat the peanut oil over high heat. Add the seafood and cook until firm and opaque; season with salt, pepper and the Old Bay. Add the vermouth and deglaze.

Add the seafood to the pasta and toss. Serve hot or refrigerate and serve cold (if serving cold, drizzle more EVOO on top and sprinkle with a little more finely chopped garlic and fresh herbs).