Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cauliflower, Garlic and Oil Pasta

 I promised this recipe to my aunt, Becky weeks ago... Sorry Becks!  Here it is finally.  This dish feels so substantial and meaty even though it is vegetarian (well, except for the anchovies)... I really love this pasta and so does Brandon.  So good and so easy! This is one of Marcella Hazan's recipes.  Here is how it is done!


1.5 pound head of caluiflower
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
6 flat anchovy filets, chopped
1/4 tsp. chopped hot red pepper (I use red pepper flakes)
1 lb. package penne or other macaroni
2 Tbs. chopped parsley


1. Strip cauliflower of all leaves except tender inner ones, rinse in cold water, cut head in 2 and cook in 4 to 5 quarts boiling water until tender but still compact - about 20-30 minutes.  Test with a fork to know when it is done.  Drain and set aside.

2.  Put oil, garlic, and chopped anchovy fillets in a medium saute pan. Turn heat to medium and saute until garlic turns golden brown, stir from time to time with a wooden spoon, mashing anchovies with it. 

(Listen, you should not set it on fire... I am not sure what the reflection in the pan is... not fire, I promise... probably just an effect caused by the flash of the camera. very cool. anyways...)

3.  Add the boiled cauliflower, break it up quickly with a fork, crumbling into pieces no bigger than a peanut (I am not sure why Marcella uses the reference to a peanut but it cracks me up so I kept it!).  Turn it thoroughly in the oil, mashing part of it to a pulp.

4.  Add hot pepper and liberal amount of salt (it takes quite a bit of salt to make it right, do it to taste).  Turn up the heat and cook for a few minutes more, stirring frequently.  Then turn off the heat.

5.  Bring 4 to 5 quarts water to a boil, salt the water, and when water returns to a boil, put in the pasta.  Cook until al dente, drain well and transfer to a warm serving bowl.

6.  Very briefly reheat cauliflower and poor contents over pasta.  Toss thoroughly, add parsley, and toss again.  Serve at once.


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