Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pasta with Cauliflower and Kale

Rikki had a lump on her leg, requiring surgical removal.  Bunni has bladder stones and needs a new inconvenient diet to dissolve them. Sigh.

That has nothing to do with the rest of the post, but I wanted to share. 

Oh winter. You keep going. We need some different produce.  Signs of spring are peeking out here and there, but until the farmers' market is in full spring swing, I'll continue to make do.

This recipe is better than it sounds. It has quite a healthy dose of grated parmesan.  You can leave out the anchovies if you want to make this vegetarian, but if you're not vegetarian, keep the anchovies.  It adds a real savoriness that doesn't taste like fish at all.

Adapted from Gourmet

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
  • 1 large bunch or 2 small bunches of kale, stems removed and roughly chopped/torn
  • 8 anchovies
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb pasta--the original recipe called for orrecchiete but inexplicable the grocery store didn't have any, so I used small shells.  The shape works well with the ingredients.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated parmesan (or pecorino, whatever)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prep your cauliflower.

Put cut cauliflower onto baking sheet.  Drizzle with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper.  Mix till everything is nice and coated. And greasy.

Roast in oven for about 10 to 12 minutes, stirring things about halfway through and checking on progress.

Hello, you beautiful caramelization, you.

Now prep your kale. NOW!  This is good to do while the cauliflower is roasting.

To de-stem the kale, I just rip the leaves off the stem in large chunks. No biggie.

In a large saute pan or sauce pan, heat a few tsp olive oil over medium to medium high heat.  Place in your garlic, anchovies and crushed red pepper.

So pretty.

Stir to break up anchovies, and after 2 to 3 minutes you will have something like this:

That is a whole lotta good flava right there.

Add in the kale, and a little water or stock (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup).  Cover and lower heat to simmer for however long it takes your kale to get tender.  I've worked with some kale that is tender after 20 minutes, but this was a pretty tough batch and it took more like 30 to 40 minutes.  Uncover and let liquid evaporate a bit.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, shaving off a minute.  Drain pasta and add to kale.  Add in cauliflower and cook a bit to let the pasta absorb some of that kale juice (that sounds gross, but it's not).  Add in the cheese, as much or as little as you want.

Ta-da! This was a solid winter dish.  Next time I might increase the amount of kale.


  1. Poor pug pups. Give them kisses from me and Bodie?

    Cauliflower is amazing no matter how it's prepared but this takes the cake. You combined it with one of my fave greens. Another Lavenderpug recipe has been bookmarked!

  2. my babeeee pugsssssss.

    oooooo! never thought of using kale. I wonder if you can roast the kale, as well.

  3. sounds like a good dose of veggies right here and the anchovy/garlic/red pepper concoction looks sooo yummy.

    sadsie pugs. hope they are feeling better!!!

  4. hugs and happy thoughts to the pugs!

  5. I think that pasta looks so yummy. you can't go wrong with cheese. And, I'm so sorry about your doggies!! I hope they're feeling better!

  6. I seriously need to try kale one of these days.

    And I hope your puggies get better soon!

  7. thanks for all the good wishes!

    jessica: i think it's awesome that you like cauliflower and kale--not everyone does!

  8. Tried this tonight and it was a big hit with both of us, plenty of leftovers too. I used some of the pasta water to loosen up the sauce. I am not a fan of hot stuff but the red pepper flakes are intricale to the dish. My husband turned up his nose when he saw me using anchovy but he loved the flavor that it gave to the dish. Thanks!