“This is a Nick Stellino recipe that his grandmother used to cook for him. He says that he and his brother fell in love with it because "it looks and tastes almost like a dessert". This recipe may take a little while to make especially if you make your own tomato sauce (recipe provided below); however, you could probably find a canned sauce with onions, garlic and basil that you could substitute. Cooking time does not include the time to make the tomato sauce which is 25 minutes.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place the raisins in a bowl of hot water to plump for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a large nonstick skillet and heat on high until the oil is almost smoking, about 2-3 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and cook 2 minutes. Add the garlic, stir and cook for 2 minutes more. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoons salt, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Wipe the pan clean, raise the heat to medium-high, add the remaining oil, drained raisins, pine nuts and red pepper flakes and cook 3-4 minutes. Add the cooked cauliflower, stir well and cook for 3 minutes. Add the remaining salt, the tomato sauce, water or stock, saffron, balsamic vinegar-sugar mixture and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil and simmer until most of the sauce has been absorbed, about 4-5 minutes. Serve with slices of hearty Italian bread.
  4. For the tomato sauce: Pour oil into a 3-qt. pot set on medium-high heat and cook the garlic and onions for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the onions are soft and start to brown. While the onions are cooking, put the tomatoes and their juices in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add the tomato puree to the onion mixture, raise the heat to high and bring to a boil for 5-8 minutes. Reduce the heat, add the basil and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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