Recipes and News

Sicilian Pasta with Cauliflower and Pine Nuts

Sicilian cauliflowers are a popular staple on the island, and this pasta dish combines them with north African flavours of saffron and pine nuts to make a delicious and quick dish which is perfect on its own as a weekday night dinner, or as an accompaniment to roasted meats such as leg of lamb. Just be sure to finish it with plenty of Ravida olive oil!

Serves 4

1 cauliflower weighing about 600gms/1 ½ lbs
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup sultanas
1/2 tbsp of tomato extract or alternatively, ¼ teaspoon saffron
3 anchovy fillets
1 onion, finely chopped
300 gms bucatini, caserecce or rigatoni pasta
Lots of Ravida Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Caciocavallo, pecorino, parmesan cheese, finely grated

Cook the cauliflower florets and chopped stems in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
Drain and reserve the cooking water to cook the pasta or add to sauce.

Soften sultanas in a cup of hot water.

If using tomato extract, dilute tomato paste with three tablespoons of hot cauliflower water.

In a large pot, sweat the finely chopped onion in four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a small piece of chilli (optional) under very slow heat. Do not brown - add a bit of cauliflower water if needed.

Cream in the anchovy fillets, add the pine nuts and sultanas and stir for 2 minutes.

Add the cauliflower, the tomato paste (or alternatively the saffron) and mix by adding 2-3 ladles of cauliflower water. Cook until soft and mushy. Season with salt if necessary.

In the meantime, cook pasta al dente and drain well.

Add to the cauliflower and stir over medium heat with a few spoonfuls of cauliflower water and a generous pouring of olive oil. Sprinkle with some of the cheese.

Pour into a dish, mix and serve hot.

Speciality and Fine Food Fair 2018 (trade only)

This year The Oil Merchant will be exhibiting at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair at Olympia, London. We will be joined by three of our suppliers: Valdueza from Extremadura in Spain, Liá from Messenia in Greece, and Frescobaldi from Tuscany, Italy. Please come along to our stand, 5090, to taste some oils and have a chat about our range.
If you would like us to send you an invite for a free ticket, please email us in advance - office(at) If you do not sign up ahead of time tickets on the door will cost £25.
Please be aware that this show is for trade customers only.

A Gourmet Guide to Oil and Vinegar

We have been greatly enjoying using this wonderful book by Ursula Ferrigno. Full of beautiful recipes and captivating photography, it is a brilliant introduction into cooking with oil and vinegar, specifying what types of oil work well with certain foods, and all presented in an approachable, lively way. The recipes are simple and delicious, encapsulating Ursula's encyclopaedic knowledge of and natural instinct with ingredients. The book has a useful introduction which gives the reader a good background on the history and uses of olive oil through the ages, as well as some lovely tips such as how to combine it into your beauty regime!
We are very excited to have a number of the oils that we import featured in the book, and are grateful to Ursula for selecting them.
Published by Ryland Peters & Small, the book is available from their website,, on Amazon, or in all good bookshops.