Bow-Tie Pasta With Cauliflower, Olives & Graviera Cheese

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IMG_8647I am delighted that my recent recipe for Cauliflower Stifado was very well received and many readers tried out the dish and loved it! I am back today with another cauliflower dish, this time it’s tossed with pasta, green and black olives, capers with a pinch of heat and lots of shaved Greek Graviera cheese.

It is not a complicated dish and the sauce comes together within the time it takes for your pasta to cook. Like most simple dishes, the success and flavour hinges on quality ingredients like extra-virgin olive oil, I love the green olive oils of Halkidiki and of course, Kalamata olives.

Graviera cheese is the Greek Gruyere, made of sheep’s milk and made in many parts of the country. I love Graviera from Crete, it even has big holes in it like a Gruyere! Your choice of pasta is wide open but I chose bow-ties (farfalle) as they mimic the look of my cauliflower, thinly shaved with a vegetable peeler.

Open a glass of Greek wine, try out this simple yet delicious pasta dish and enjoy this simple meal.IMG_8653

Bow-Tie Pasta With Cauliflower, Olives & Graviera Cheese

(serves 4)

500 gr. package of bow-tie pasta

approx. 12 cauliflower florets

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

pinch of Boukovo or chilli flakes

approx. 1 cup hot pasta water

6-7 pitted green olives, sliced

6-7 pitted black olives, sliced

2 Tbsp. chopped capers

salt and pepper to taste

extra olive oil for finishing

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or scallion greens

shavings of Graviera cheese

  1. Place a large pot of water on your stovetop and bring to a bowl. Season the water well with sea salt and as soon as the water returns to a boil, add the pasta and cook for approx. 6 minutes. Strain and reserve.
  2. In the meantime, with a vegetable peeler, slice your cauliflower into thin slices and reserve. Now place a large skillet on your stove-top and add the olive oil, garlic and chilli flakes and sweat over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  3. Now add the cauliflower, hot water and cover. Allow the cauliflower to steam for 2-3 minutes then uncover and add the sliced olives and capers and reduce for another 3-4 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated.
  4. If your pasta is ready, strain and add into the skillet with the sauce and gently toss to incorporate. Add the lemon juice, chives and gently toss and divide and plate. Drizzle more extra-virgin olive oil, another pinch of Boukovo, shavings of Graviera cheese and serve with Skouras white Roditis/Moschofilero blend.

© 2013,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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4 Comments for “Bow-Tie Pasta With Cauliflower, Olives & Graviera Cheese”


Ohh this looks good, I would love to make this but as a vegetarian I am trying to avoid cheese made with animal rennet. Do you know if Greek graviera uses animal rennet in processing? Do you know if there are any hard Greek cheeses that are made with non-animal rennet?



I saw this photo on facebook and of course I was immediately attracted … it’s pasta! I was wondering how you cut the cauliflower so thin that it’s almost translucent. Glad you shared that tidbit.