Saturday, February 6, 2010

Orecchiette with Roasted Cauliflower, Raisins and Walnuts

Orecchiette with Roasted Cauliflower, Raisins and Walnuts (and Colatura, optional)
As shared from the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate
Serves 4

A traditional dish, possessing the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors.


1 head of cauliflower, cut into very small florets
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup raisins (golden or black), plumped in warm liquid water, wine, etc.
3 Tablespoons walnuts or 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
1 Tablespoon colatura (optional)+*
8 ounces orecchiette

*If not using colatura, salt the cauliflower a little more heavily than usual.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (F)
Toss the cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 1012 minutes until nicely caramelized. In the last 3-4 minutes, add the raisins and pine nuts and continue roasting. (Careful not to burn the nuts.)

In the meantime, cook the orecchiette in lots of salted, boiling water. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Return the hot pasta to the pot and stir in the pasta water, colatura(if using), 2 tablespoons of fresh extra virgin olive oil and the roasted cauliflower mix. Serve right away.

* Colatura is a special Italian syrup, made from anchovies.

Recipe adapted from Market Hall Foods

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