Friday, May 29, 2009

Spelt Pasta with Braised Cauliflower and Anchovies

I made a mish mosh of several recipes to come up with this one. Don't be freaked out by the little fishies. I only used 3 and they just melt away in the sauce to provide a slightly salty, nutty depth of flavor. I use spelt pasta (Vita Spelt brand) because I like it better than whole wheat pasta. It's got a nice nuttiness without the bitterness I get from whole wheat sometimes. The Monster and I really liked this dish served up with a big spinach salad.

Spelt Pasta with Braised Cauliflower and Anchovies:

1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florettes and washed
~3 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 Tbs unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic
3 anchovy filets
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
~1/3 cup dry white wine
~1/3 low-salt organic chicken broth
~1 tsp small capers
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
lemon juice to taste (I probably used about 1/2 a lemon's worth)
Kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, I use a very fine cheese rasp.
~2 Tbs chopped Italian parsley
Spelt egg noodle pasta

Start a large pot of water for your pasta.
When this comes to a boil add the cauliflower and blanch for 2 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon or seive and set aside to drain.
Heat ~1-2 Tbs olive oil and 1 Tbs butter in a large skillet.
When good and hot add the cauliflower and saute for ~ 5 minutes, when it's starting to get some nice brown spots. Toss several times during saute, but don't stir too much or you won't get the nice carmelization.
Push the cauliflower to the sides of your pan and add either ~1 Tb more olive oil or butter plus your minced garlic, chopped anchovies, and red pepper.
Cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
Now toss the cauliflower together with the garlic mixture and add chicken broth, white wine and capers.
Start your spelt pasta at this point (only takes 6 minutes).
Cover and reduce heat to simmer for another 4-5 minutes, cooking until tender but not mushy.
Add the chopped egg, parsley, drained al dente noodles, Parm to taste (doesn't take too much), lemon juice, pepper and some salt if needed. Done!

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