Braised Cauliflower Puttanesca

Cauliflower Puttanesca

December 10, 2019


If cauliflower rice and cauliflower gnocchi didn’t convince you that there’s nothing cauliflower can’t do, we’d like to introduce you to braised cauliflower puttanesca. Inspired by the saucy, savory, briny pasta dish filled with tomatoes, capers, anchovies — this one pot dish swaps the cauliflower for the pasta and never looks back. You can eat a bowl of it with a drizzle of olive oil or serve it over a bed of zucchini noodles. Either way, make sure you’re starting with a good quality jar of marinara sauce. It’s the foundation of this robust dish — and another reason to keep a few jars of marinara in the pantry. When dinner time rolls around and you’re scrambling to figure out what to eat, remember you can pull out a jar, grab that tin of anchovies, a bottle of capers, olives, and a handful of spices and have this incredibly satisfying dinner on the table in just under an hour.

Braised Cauliflower Puttanesca

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  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tbsp)
  • 3 anchovy filets, minced, optional
  • 1 head cauliflower, quartered, leaves and core removed
  • 1 24-oz jar Primal Kitchen tomato basil or roasted garlic marinara sauce
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 tbsp drained capers
  • 1/8 to ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp freshly shredded parmesan cheese, optional
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


  1. Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and anchovies; sauté for about 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant and anchovies melt. Place cauliflower on top; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, turning a few times to coat with garlic oil. Pour sauce over (sauce won’t completely cover cauliflower). Stir in olives, capers and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Season with pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  2. Cover pan and cook until cauliflower is very tender, about 40 to 50 minutes (a knife inserted into cauliflower should go in easily), stirring once or twice and turning cauliflower as it cooks.
  3. Cut cauliflower into smaller pieces and divide among 4 plates. Top with sauce; drizzle with olive oil. Top with parmesan, if using, and parsley. Serve hot.