1990s Recipes + Menus
Orecchiette with Cauliflower
- 1 large head green cauliflower (sometimes called broccoflower, about 2 1/2 pounds) or 1/2 large head cauliflower and 1/2 bunch broccoli, cut into 1/2-inch flowerets, stems reserved for another use
- 3/4 lb dried orecchiette (ear shaped pasta) or cavatelli
- 5 tablespoons good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1/4 pound bacon (about 4 slices), chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
Accompaniment:freshly grated Parmesan
In a 5-quart kettle bring 4 quarts salted water to a boil for cauliflower (or cauliflower mixture) and pasta.
In a 12-inch deep heavy skillet heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook bread crumbs, stirring, until golden. Transfer bread crumbs to a bowl and wipe skillet clean with paper towel. In skillet cook bacon over moderate heat until crisp.
While bacon is cooking, add vegetables to boiling water and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until just tender. Transfer vegetables with a slotted spoon to a colander to drain and keep water at a boil.
Add vegetables, garlic, and salt to taste to bacon and sauté until cauliflower is pale golden, about 3 minutes. Keep mixture warm.
Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente and drain well in colander. Add pasta, remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste to cauliflower mixture and toss until combined well.
Sprinkle pasta with bread crumbs and serve with Parmesan. Serves 4 as a first course.