Rachel Roddy’s Recipe for Pasta with Cauliflower, Onions, and Anchovies | food

DrOn the outskirts of Gela in Sicily last summer, we passed a lorry, its open back full of pea-green cauliflower, electric purple, and white. These trucks are familiar but always a sight to behold in Italy. especially this one, with its particularly high walls of tricolor heads, a few of which tossed and rolled in the way, where they met a chaotic end. We stopped for petrol and lemonade in a garage across the road. I think I tried to take a picture, but someone else in the car summed up the scene: “Joker’s truck,” they said. I didn’t understand what they meant right away, but when I did, all the previous descriptions—cumulus clouds, cream-colored curds—disappeared and all I could see were green shirts, purple suits, and white faces: a pile of Jokers from Batman.

Months later, and it’s still the first thing that comes to mind when I get broccoli. Even those freshly picked with creamy curds and chiseled leaves from my friend Carla Tomasi’s garden are vegetables of great beauty, with something of a Jack Nicholson about them.

Sicilian, more specifically. Palermitano name for this dish is vruócculi arriminati. Vruocculi is the dialect of broccoli, but in Palermo and also in Gela, cauliflower Cauliflower is often called broccoli. And what about Issues? I recently came across a list of difficult-to-translate Sicilian words, and issues It is indicated as the closest to modified, which means to shuffle again or re-shuffle, and is used to describe both playing cards and noodles. It’s a strange translation, I know, “remixed cauliflower pasta,” but it’s a useful translation, I suppose, especially if your idea of ​​mixing is grandma’s mixing: i.e., throwing them all in and mixing them wildly. Because, like smashing before cucumbers or whipping before cream, it emphasizes the importance of action. the first mixture of cauliflower boiled in oil, onions and anchovies; The second mixture, which is now almost creamy, is mixed with the pasta.

It is optional, but encouraged, to add cauliflower, onion and anchovies with toasted breadcrumbs. The best way to roast them—either dry crumbs or mushy—is to do so in a skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a good pinch of salt over medium-low heat. Use a wooden spoon to move it around the pan until it’s lightly colored and smells like digestive biscuits. Even with crumbs, this dish isn’t meant to be pretty, but freeing pasta and reps from that pressure is a good thing.

Macaroni with cauliflower, onions and anchovies

to equip 5 minutes
cook 20 minutes
serves 4

1 large cauliflower
6 t
tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
Peeled and chopped
salt
4-6 anchovy fillets
30 grams of currants
(my choice)
30g of almond or pine nuts (my choice)
5 strands of saffron
400 grams of short pasta
– Bucatini, Casarecce, Half Sleeve, Fusilli
50 grams of bread crumbs

Trim the cauliflower and break it into large florets. Cook them in boiling, well-salted water until tender—just that, because they’ll cook more with the other ingredients. Remove water from water and set aside, reserving water for pasta.

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, heat four tablespoons of the olive oil, onion, and salt, stirring, until onion softens. Add the anchovies, currants, almonds, or pine nuts (if using), and cook for another minute.

Add the cauliflower and stir, then add two ladlefuls of the cooking water and simmer for five minutes. Dissolve the saffron in a little cauliflower water and add it during the last minute, stirring until the mixture is smooth and sauce-like.

Bring the cauliflower water back to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, in another skillet, toast the bread crumbs in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with a pinch of salt, until golden brown and smelling like digestive biscuits. Bring the cauliflower mixture back to the heat until heated through, adding some of the pasta cooking water if it seems dry.

When the noodles are done, drain them or dump them directly into the cauliflower skillet, tossing and turning until the ingredients just come together. Divide it among the plates and spread the toasted crumbs over it.

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