Friday, January 1, 2010


I love pasta. Ziti, fettucini, linguini, penne, gemelli... you name it.  And I'm always looking for new ways to sauce up the noodles and enjoy my carbs. 

Tonight's feast started with two basic ingredients: bacon and cauliflower.  One of the yummiest sides you can imagine is oven roasted cauliflower, especially if you drape some bacon over the florettes or use a baking sheet with bacon drippings.  So delish.  Well, if bacon and cauliflower work well together, and bacon and pasta go well together (think carbonara and l'amtriciana), shouldn't they all rock together? YES!

Of course, they will need some extra components to help them sing.  Aromatics are a must.  I would have used shallots, but we were fresh out.  Selected substitution: red onion.  How about a cook's best pal-- Mr. Garlic.  Next, we need cheese.  Freshly grated parm will work perfectly.  For the "sauciness" factor, I turn to best buds white wine and chicken stock.  And now for a secret ingredient.... something with a subtle flavor that will deepen the intensity.  But nothing scary--we want the kids to eat this.  Oh, yes.  I've read about an ingredient that melts into oil, adds depth of flavor and salt.  And I just so happen to have it - a tin of anchovies.

Did I lose you with the anchovies bit?  Anchovies have that built in "ewww" factor, right?  Not really.  I mean, most of us eat Caesar salad.  We just need to temper the fishy factor while harnessing the umami and salty goodness.  Trust me, people.  It will work!

The final choice was pasta type.  You really could use any shape and style.  I felt like the linguini was calling my name, and the nutty whole wheat variety sounded like a good accompaniment.  Feel free to mix it up to meet your carb needs/desires.

Now, before we proceed, gentle reader, I must apologize.  You see, this was an experimental recipe, and I wasn't quite sure how it would work--if it would work.  Plus, I had a couple hungry, whiny kids asking about the readiness of dinner.  So I skipped prelim pics.  And, as it turns out, it was very, very good.  So much so, that there wasn't anything left to smile pretty for the camera.  So I guess you are going to have to trust me on this one until I make it again.  And, yeah, I am totally make this again.

Bacon, 'Flowers and Ribbons


- 1/2 lb whole wheat linguini (or any pasta you fancy)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 to 1.5 slices bacon, chopped (feel free to substitute pancetta!)
- 1 tin of flat anchovies, packed in oil (trust me!)
- 1 small red onion (or two shallots), diced
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 head of large cauliflower or 1 whole head of small cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parm cheese (plus extra to top dishes)
- springs of fresh parsley, chopped (optional)


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add kosher salt and pasta, and cook pasta until about 1 minute below al dente per box instructions. Drain, saving one to two cups of pasta liquid.

Meanwhile, add olive oil, bacon, anchovies, and oil from tin into a large, deep pan over medium low heat.  Using back of saute spoon, encourage the anchovies to melt into the oil (ie, break them up a bit).  Cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic, and saute for another 3 to 5 minutes.  Add cauliflower, stir ingredients to combine. Add wine and stock, raise heat to medium, cover pan.  Let cook another 10 or so minutes until the cauliflower gets soft and tender (but not mushy).

Remove lid and add drained pasta to pan. Add some of the cooking liquid to help foster more of a sauce feel; do this a bit at a time until you have your desired consistency.  Add parm cheese, and stir.

Serve in bowls, with sprinkle of parsley and some more freshly grated parm on top.  Delicioso!

No comments:

Post a Comment