Orecchiette with Kale and Cauliflower

Submitted by kueda

This recipe comes from The Gourmet Cookbook, and despite sounding dangerously healthy, it is, in fact, delicious. The version here is the one from my brain. If I work up the gumption, I will ammend it with useful things like quantities from the real recipe when I get a chance.

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into little pieces
  • 1 bunch Lacinato or dino kale, destemmed
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1-3 green chilis, sliced (this dish is great spicy, but be mindful of the treacherous variations in potency to be found in the chilis. I think 1 serrano would probably suit most normal people. I like 3).
  • 8 anchovy fillets (Don't skimp! Seriously!)
  • ~ 1 lb orecchiette
  • ~1/2 a baguette or other white loaf, decrusted and mercilessly torn into little bits

Method

  1. Get a nice big pot of salted water boiling and drop in the cauliflower, and cook until it's soft but not falling apart.
  2. Meanwhile, put the anchovies, chilis, and garlic in saucepan or deep frying pan with 3 tbsp olive oil, and turn the heat to low. They should sizzle slowly, until the anchovies fall apart.
  3. When the cauliflower is done, remove with a slotted spoon, add to the garlic et al., and mash it with fork. Cook the kale in the cauliflower water until tender, ~3 mins, and add that to the increasingly mucky mix of cauliflower, garlic, etc. Now it should look delightfully green and white!
  4. Cook the pasta in the kale / cauliflower water. Put the bread chunks on a cookie pan and bake at 325 F while the pasta is cooking, until they turn golden. I always burn them, so beware.
  5. Mix the cooked pasta with the saucelike mix and add an extra tbsp or so of nice olive oil. Serve with parmesan and the crushed croutons.

Cook's Notes

I think this recipe is kind of awesome, especially because you can get practically every ingredient at a good farmer's market here in CA. That said, no one I've made it for seems quite as thrilled about it as I am.

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