1. Bring a large saucepan three-quarters full of salted water to the boil. Divide the cauliflower into small florets. Rinse these and drain well.
2. Heat 6 tbsp oil in a very wide frying pan or wok and stir-fry the crushed cloves of garlic with the cauliflower florets over a high heat for 2 minutes.
3. Reduce the heat to low, add about 2 fl oz (50 ml) of the boiling salted water heating for the pasta, the seeded and crumbled chilli pepper or pinch of cayenne pepper, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.
4. Cook the pasta in the fast boiling salted water until barely tender and still with a good deal of bite to it; drain but reserve 8 fl oz (225 ml) of the water in a measuring jug.
5. Add half this water and all the pasta to the cauliflower, stir gently and leave to simmer uncovered until the pasta has finished cooking, adding more of the reserved water when necessary.
6. The finished dish should be very moist. Turn off the heat. Season to taste and sprinkle grated cheese on top, if wished, mixing in well. Serve immediately.