Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lidia's Broccoli or Cauliflower with pasta

I got the idea for this  from Lidia's Italian Cooking show on the Create channel.  I made it with left over broccoli. It was a very quick and easy meal. I just made enough for 2 people, but I wish that I had had leftovers.  I am addicted to pasta of any kind, and I really liked this. Lidia's version also has toasted almonds instead of parmesean, but I am a huge parmesean fan so that's what I used. 

If you are using left over broccoli or cauliflower, just put it in the colander and drain the pasta on top of it to reheat it or reheat in the microwave and add it to the bowl when you add the cooked pasta.

To serve 6

½ teaspoon salt
8- inch chunk day- old French bread 
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4  garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
¼ teaspoon peperoncino (hot, red pepper) flakes, or to taste
1 small head cauliflower or broccoli, cut in small florets (about 1 pound)
1 pound Cavatelli

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Parmigiano reggiano - grated 

Fill a large pot with salted water (at least 6 quarts water with 1 tablespoon salt), and heat to a boil.

Grate the bread chunk on the coarse holes of a box grater into a mixing bowl (you'll have about 2 cups). Saute the garlic & red pepper flakes for a minute in  5 tablespoons of the olive oil  over medium-high heat. Add the bread crumbs, and stir to moisten them with the oil.

Toast the crumbs until they’re golden and crisp, being careful not to let anything brown too much. Remove from heat, and pour the toasted crumbs and garlic into the serving bowl.

Meanwhile, start cooking the cauliflower and cavatelli. With the cooking water at a rolling boil, drop in the cauliflower florets, and cook them for about 3 minutes, until barely tender. Drop in the cavatelli, stir, and return the water quickly to a boil. Cook another 4 to 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is fully tender and the pasta is al dente.

Drain and add the pasta and florets to the bread crumbs in the bowl. Add the parsley and salt, and toss everything together well, until the crumbs are evenly distributed and coat the pasta and cauliflower florets. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil all over, and toss again. Top with grated Parmigiano. Serve immediately.

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