A very well-known and typical dish of the gastronomic tradition of Apulia, in particular of Bari, this pasta with cauliflower should not be confused with the equally typical pastas with broccoli and turnip greens. Of course, you could say. Rather, the distinction must be made, because In Puglia, tradition means that each condiment corresponds to a cut of pasta. Those of Apulia, so to speak, do not eat only orecchiette, which (the fresh pasta ones) are reserved for ragù and strong-flavored condiments. Like the famous turnip greens.
For cauliflower and broccoli, dry pasta is preferred.preferably short: fusilli, rigatoni, penne, broken ziti, shells and the like.
This in general, obviously, because Apulia, like many other Italian regions, is a gastronomic universe in itself. With important differences from one province to another and often also from one country to another.
The cauliflower pasta that we offer is one of the old ones, from which several variations are derived. In fact, the addition of bacon is already a variant, because the basic recipe called for a cauliflower dressing onlygarlic and pecorino, the latter preferably in the form of cacioricotta.
Between other variablesthe most widespread is the pasta with cauliflower and anchovies. Anchovies in oil are also used, but anchovies in salt are clearly preferred. They should be rinsed well and pitted, then slowly cooked in the sautéed garlic until completely dissolved.
It is also common red version, with the addition of tomato puree. And the use of chilli instead of pepper is very common, both in the natural version and in the one with tomato.
The recipe for this cauliflower pasta is very simple, but it requires a little attention to get it right. In fact, the cauliflower should become a cream. capable of marrying intimately with pasta. And for this it is necessary that the seasoning has the appropriate fluidity. So you have to boil it well and then pulp it more or less in the pan. We did it by mashing with a fork, as it was done in the past, but today almost everyone uses a mixer. And we have to say that It’s not a bad solutionIn fact, it is probably the best, both from an aesthetic point of view and – above all – if you intend to use long pasta.
- 360 g dry durum wheat pasta
- 800 g cauliflower tips
- 50 g fatty bacon
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Grated cacioricotta (alternatively, regular grated pecorino cheese)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Wash the cauliflower and divide it into florets, discarding the toughest parts of the stems. Bring plenty of salted water to a boil, add the florets and let it cook over low heat for 10 minutes. Drain them with a slotted spoon, leaving some pieces in the water.
- Cut the garlic into slices and fry them over very low heat in a frying pan with 3 tablespoons of oil. Add half a tablespoon of chopped parsley, finely chopped bacon and fry for
- Pour the cauliflower florets into the pan and let them season over moderate heat with the lid on for 7-8 minutes. Mix several times and use a fork to chop and mash (pulp) most of the cauliflower. In the end the sauce should be a fairly fluid cream, also thanks to the addition of 4-5 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water.
- Cook the pasta in the cauliflower cooking water, drain it, leaving it slightly moist, and sauté it for a minute in the pan with the seasoning. Turn off the heat and top with ground black pepper and 2-3 tablespoons of grated pecorino cheese. Finally, mix the pasta well with the cauliflower and serve immediately, still very hot.