Garlic, Anchovy and Cauliflower Penne

National Cheese on Toast Day falls in April and was originally initiated by the Lancashire cheese makers to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Relief. But prior to this, National Garlic Day (swiftly followed by National No Friends Day) promotes the many uses of garlic. For thousands of years garlic has been used to ward off evil spirits but also as a medicinal herb. It is believed that the phytochemicals in garlic provide protection against heart disease and some cancers. It is said to help lower cholesterol levels and to reduce the build up of plaque in arteries. I do wonder if the claim that it helps ward off colds and flu is anything to do with the fact that if you eat garlic no one comes close enough to give you their germs?

I served up this dish when I was suffering from cold symptoms. I don’t know if it is just coincidence but I do find that giving myself a good dose of garlic does seem to ease of the symptoms. But then again I love garlic so it may just be that I feel better after a bit of comfort food. This dish is scrumptious?

Ingredients - serves 4

1 cauliflower ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons of olive oil 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
4 cloves of garlic Freshly ground black pepper
6 anchovy fillets 350g fresh penne


  1. Divide the cauliflower into florets.
  2. Bring some salted water to the boil in a large saucepan.
  3. Once boiling, add the cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Drain and put to one side.
  5. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  6. Heat the oil in the pan and add the garlic. Keeping the pan on a low heat cook the garlic until it is soft but not browned.
  7. Remove from the heat and add the anchovy fillets, mashing them into the oil until they form a paste.
  8. Add the cauliflower and cayenne to saucepan and mix well. Cover and return to a low heat for 5 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile cook the penne according to the instructions on the packet.
  10. When the cauliflower mixture is ready, remove from heat and slightly mash the cauliflower to break it up into smaller pieces.
  11. Once the penne is cooked, add it to the mixture and stir well.
  12. Turn out on to serving plates and sprinkle with the chopped parsley and black pepper.

Once eaten, prepare to be very lonely for at least 24 hours. Don’t call us! We’ll call you!