Sunday, November 22, 2009

Roasted cauliflower with pasta, roasted cauliflower salad

As long as you are roasting cauliflower, and may have some more on hand, two more recipes. The roasting adds a real depth of flavor that steamed or boiled lacks. My wife hates boiled cauliflower, but practically mainlines it when it is roasted.

Roasted Cauliflower with pasta

  1. Roast Cauliflower according to the directions of the last blog posting.
  2. Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
  3. Heat a few tablespoons olive oil on low heat(I hope I don't have to do a Rachel Ray and specify EVOO......), and add 5-10 cloves of chop garlic, depending on your taste.
  4. Saute gently for a few minutes, until they are soft but not even beginning to brown.
  5. Add between 2 and 10 anchovy fillets. This is a matter of great argument in our house. Amy wants none, I want 10, so we compromise on two. Add some ground black pepper and a pinch or two of pepper flakes if you like. Saute, stirring, until the anchovies dissolve into the garlic.
  6. Add a handful of chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley and stir a bit.
  7. Add the cauliflower and saute stirring occasionally, until it is hot. Mash it a bit from time to time as you stir -- this dish is better with smaller pebbles than large florets.
  8. As soon as the water boils, add one pound of pasta. Good choices hear are penne, rigatoni, or orrechiette. (Dal Racolto has a wonderful new rusitc orrechiette which would be great.
  9. When the pasta is done -- there should be some tooth to it (when we were in Southern Italy there was often some snap to the macaroni pasta!), spoon off a cup of water and drain.
  10. Add the pasta to the cauliflower, and mix well to incorporate. Add a little pasta water if it seems dry.
  11. Before serving, you have your choice of toppings: nothing, breadcrumbs (unflavored!!!!!!) browned in a little olive oil, or grated pecorino cheese , alone or mixed with a bit of parmiggiano. Though probably not authentic, we often like bread crumbs and cheese together.
  12. If there is any leftover, it is great straight from the fridge.

Roasted Cauliflower salad
  1. Combine the cauliflower with chopped flat leave parsley, rinsed capers, rinsed and seeded black olives (pre-seeded kalamatas if you are lazy, gaetas or picholines if you are not), and a little chopped red onion or shallot.
  2. Dress with olive oil, sherry vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. If you want a slightly Mexican (Veracruzano) flavor, add about 1/2 teaspoon of Ceylon (true) cinnamon and 1/2 to a full teaspoon of rubbed oregano, ideally Mexican. This sounds odd but it works. True cinnamon is very different from the regular cinnamon that we usually get, which is really cassia and better in desserts, Indian and Moroccan food.

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