My friend, Brad, was by yesterday afternoon to wash his car in our driveway (he lives in an apartment) and to watch some of the Rome Masters Tennis Series (he has no t.v. of his own and claims that if he did, he would be hopelessly glued to it day and night). And I believe him. Brad is the same friend that I cooked dinner for a few weeks back, the one with the pink cel phone that he never answers. That was the night that I made him Pink Risotto, in honour of his uniquely coloured communications device.
As the dinner hour passed and Brad was still clearly going nowhere anytime soon, I offered to cook us a meal. You may or may not be surprised to learn that he is wheat intolerant. Whatever would I cook for Brad?….. A few months back, I waxed on about how delicious Peter Zambri’s Cauliflower Alla Sabbia recipe was. It really is a stellar dish. And dead easy to prepare. All the fixin’s were in the fridge. Why not try tossing it together with some kamut noodles and make it into a ‘Brad friendly’ pasta dish? It was a lip smacking success. The only thing I would do fifferently next time would be to slice the cauliflower into 3/8″ slices after blaching it. He left later with a happy belly, a clean car and the pleasure of knowing that Nadal had kicked Djokovic’s ass.
Pasta with Cauliflower Alla Sabbia
(Cauliflower tossed with anchovies and chilies, leaving out the breadcrumbs)
1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
4 small garlic cloves, thickly sliced
2 heaping tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. chili flakes (optional)
4 whole anchovy filets
salt and pepper
1/8 cup chopped parsley, leaves only.
1/4 c finely grated parmesan
pasta for 4
Blanch cauliflower in boiling salted water for two minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a cloth or paper towel lined baking sheet to cool. Slice the flowerettes into 3/8″ thick slices. Add the pasta to the same boiling water and cook according to package directions. In the meantime, in a separate large pot, heat the oil and butter. Add garlic, chilies and anchovies and fry over medium heat until the anchovies melt and the butter & garlic turns a nut brown. Add the cauliflower to the pan and toss, making sure to heat through. Lightly season with salt and pepper at this stage. Add parsley and parmesan and toss again, coating thoroughly. Add about 1/3 c of the pasta water to the vegetable pot (to create a light sauce). Drain the pasta and toss it in with the cauliflower mixture. Serve immediately.