Friday, May 13, 2011

Cauliflower Spaghetti

I generally feel that pretty much anything can be made into spaghetti sauce, or more properly a "condimento" as Mario Batali would no doubt clearly annunciate. Though in all my years in Italy I never heard it said. Hmm must be the company I keep.
In any case for James' pasta tonight I sautéed cauliflower florets in olive oil until they were just a bit brown and added in a good handful of chopped pancetta, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes and let the mixture cook over medium heat until the bacon was crispy. I deglazed the pan with a splash of white wine (I had some open) and added in about 2 cups of chicken broth. I left the cauliflower to simmer until tender with the pan partially covered. All of the similar recipes I read said to toast breadcrumbs in olive oil and set aside before cooking the cauliflower. I was just to lazy to involve more dishes and for just a minute after the cauliflower was cooked and the liquid evaporated off, I moved the vegetables to one side of the pan, added in a couple TB of olive oil and toasted a handful of breadcrumbs right in the same pan.
I added my "condimento" to the drained pasta along with a handful of shredded parmesan cheese and about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. After a good hard stir the cheese and water formed a creamy sauce to coat the bits of bacon and cauliflower. The bread crumbs gave the dish a little crunch and body.

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