Cauliflower Pasta

Cauliflower is so beautiful and versatile. It has a mild flavor that goes well in lots of things - curry (aloo gobi is wonderful), veggie tacos/enchiladas, soup... but the cauliflower recipe I love most of all allows its subtle flavor to really shine. This is another one that Dave picked up from from Aunt Catherine. As far as we know, she may have just made it up on the spot, the time he had it. In any case, here's the recipe as we make it now.

1 pound linguine or fettucine
5 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp anchovy paste
2 cups coarse bread crumbs (preferably from smashing up a stale baguette or something, not store-bought)
1 small head cauliflower
2 cups fresh spinach or arugula
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan or other hard cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

While you are waiting for the water to boil, cut the cauliflower in thirds and slice it very thinly.

Mince the garlic. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, then add the garlic and anchovy paste. Fry for 30 seconds, then add bread crumbs. The crumbs should soak up most of the olive oil and turn light brown and crispy as you fry them. Add the thinly sliced cauliflower and stir gently. Put the greens in a strainer and dip them briefly in the boiling pasta water. Drain and add them to the mixture in the skillet. The goal here is to just barely cook the cauliflower and greens. Add the parmesan, salt and pepper to taste, and toss it all up with the pasta.


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