Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cauliflower & Penne Puttanesca

A twist on the classic recipe!


• 1 Pound of fresh cauliflower (chopped into bite size pieces and steamed)
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic, (minced, or pushed through a garlic press)
• 3 or more anchovy fillets
• 1 28-ounce can of diced plum tomatoes
• ¼ pound of pancetta, or bacon (cut into ½ inch lardons “pieces”)
• ½ cup pitted calamata olives (rough chopped)
• ½ cup of pitted Sicilian green olives (rough chopped)
• 3 tablespoons capers
• Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
• ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
• 6 or 7 torn basil leaves
Heirloom tomato from my garden
• 1 pound penne rigate pasta
• Chopped fresh parsley, optional


1. Steam the chopped cauliflower using a mesh steamer and set aside

2. In a large skillet with one tablespoon of olive oil, fry the pancetta (or, bacon) on medium heat until crispy. Remove pancetta and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

3. In the same skillet you fried the pancetta, add remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and garlic, (on medium heat). Add the anchovy fillets, and using a wooden spoon, break them up until they melt into a paste (may use anchovy paste if you can't find fillets). Push this paste around the pan and add the cauliflower, capers, pancetta, and olives to the mix. Toss thoroughly so all the flavors marry. A light sauté before adding the tomatoes to the mix infuses these flavors into the cauliflower.

 4. Add diced tomatoes (with tomato liquid) to the skillet mixture, and the salt. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break down and tomatoes becomes a smother consistency, (about 10 minutes). Stir in red pepper flakes and the torn basil leaves, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes.

5. While the sauce is simmering, bring pot of water to boil, and salt it. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until pasta is el dente. Drain quickly and toss with sauce and, add ¼ cup of Pecorino Romano grated cheese  (or, more if desired) and toss again. Garnish with parsley and basil leaves, if you like.

1 comment:

  1. Yum Cathi!! Looks & Sounds delicious!!! I have been enjoying cauliflower so much lately - this will be perfect to try!! I am also an olive fiend!!! TY for the great recipe!!!