A couple of weeks ago, Chef Sara Black and I had the pleasure of dining with the famed Lévana Kirschenbaum at her apartment. She graciously agreed to let me post the recipe of my favorite dish of the the evening.
Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Bread Crumbs
I love the robust flavor of cauliflower, and the roasting intensifies it even further. I use frozen cauliflower, as it is already cut, cleaned, and every bit as delicious and nutritious! Attention Gluten-Free readers: This is for you too!
Although this dish needs no help from the usual pasta suspects to be fantastic, feel free to jazz up this recipe some more with one of the following: Minced anchovies or sardines, capers, grated parmesan, toasted nuts. In this case make absolutely sure to include no salt in your recipes, as one of these additions will be amply enough to salt the whole dish.
- 2 pounds frozen cauliflower florets, larger pieces cut smaller
- 6 slices bread, any kind including GF
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 8 cloves garlic
- ½ cup basil leaves, packed
- 1 bunch flat parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 good pinches nutmeg
- 1 pound pasta, boiled and drained (rice noodles or other GF pasta OK), 1/2 cup cooking liquid reserved
- ¼ cup more olive oil
- Pine nuts, for topping
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment and spray with vegetable spray. Spread the cauliflower florets in one layer on the cookie sheet, and spray again generously with vegetable spray.
- Line another cookie sheet with foil or parchment. In a food processor, using the pulse button, process the bread, olive oil, garlic, basil, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg, until you get coarse crumbs. Place them on the second cookie sheet. Place both sheets in the oven, using upper third rack for the crumbs, and lower third rack for the cauliflower. Bake about 25 minutes, check a couple times on the sheets. The crumbs might be ready first. The cauliflower should be nice and dark.
- In a platter, toss the pasta with the cauliflower, the reserved liquid, the crumbs and the added oil, and serve hot. Top with pine nuts.
Together with the Branzino fish entree we had next, we washed it all down with a delightful bottle of red – Ramon Cardova Rioja. Just like every time I ate Lévana‘s home, it was a meal to remember!
Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!