Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Penne with Cauliflower, Peas, Mint and Breadcrumb

I bought half of a really nice cauliflower from the farmers’ market the other day and decided that I wanted to make something simple with it. I was inspired by a recipe from Matt Moran’s new book When I Come Home which featured in this month’s Delicious magazine. It was originally made with orecchiette and I didn’t have any.

This recipe serves 4. I took a portion to lunch with the breadcrumb and mint on the side which were sprinkled on after the pasta was heated. It still tasted really good.

You’ll need:

  1. 1/2 cauliflower, cut into small florets about the same size as the penne
  2. 1 clove of garlic, sliced
  3. 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  4. 2 tbsp of pine nuts
  5. 1 large chunk of butter (about 80g)
  6. 1/2 cup of panko (Japanese breadcrumb)
  7. 4 tbsp of olive oil
  8. 1 tsp of gourmet vegetable stock (or salt)
  9. 1 handful of mint leaves, thinly sliced
  10. a large chunk of pecorino (about 80 g.), half grated, half shaved
  11. 250 g. pasta

Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a heated saucepan. Add panko to heated oil and cook on medium heat. Cook gently until the breadcrumb is golden. Sprinkle a few pinches of stock powder and toss. Drain on paper kitchen towel to absorb excess oil.

Cook pasta in boiling water for about 8-12 minutes depending on your preference and the packet instruction. In the last minute, add the frozen peas. Drain and reserve 4 tbsp of cooking water.

Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to a large pan, add cauliflower florets and toss around and fry until they are coloured and cooked through (this takes about 8-10 minutes). Add pine nuts and garlic and cook for further minute.

Add the pasta and reserved cooking water. Add butter and toss. Season with the rest of stock powder or salt. Add grated cheese and stir to combine.

To serve, shave perino cheese over the pasta. Sprinkle with mint leaves and breadcrumb.

Very yummy, if I may say so myself.

Update 11/11/09:Vicious Ange made this dish with orecchiette (i.e. properly) and I have to say it looks much better than mine!