As I write this there are sizeable snowflakes fluttering about outside my window. This wouldn’t be worth a mention if I were still living in New England but as I am in London it is surely a wonderful sight to behold as I’ve only seen snow twice the two years I’ve lived here. There’s just something romantic about the way it falls here… or maybe I’ve just had enough of the misty rain…
There aren’t many dishes I know how to make by heart, in fact there are only two and both of them call for cauliflower. This recipe in particular is my go-to recipe for those days when I look for something comforting but interesting. The first time I made it for the BF & I we were both delighted with the unusual pairing of anchovies and pistachios. It is, however, the cauliflower that binds those flavors together.
Pasta with cauliflower, anchovies, and pistachios
from Barbara Lynch’s Stir cookbook
1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, coursely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 medium head cauliflower cut into small florets
5 oil-packed anchovies, drained, rinsed, and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 pound pasta, I used fusilli but the recipe calls for orecchiette
1/2 cup chopped parsley
3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Heat the oven to 350° F (178° C). Spread the pistachios out on a small baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes until lightly toasted.
In a large skillet, melt the butter & olive oil over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring for a minute or two. Add the anchovies & garlic and cook, stirring for another couple of minutes; the anchovies will dissolve into the butter. Add the broth and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 5-10 minutes.
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta. Add the pasta, parsely, parmesan, and crushed red pepper flakes to the cauliflower and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the pasta seems dry, add a little of the reserved water. Divide among the serving bowls and sprinkle with the toasted pistachios and more red pepper flakes, if desired. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.