Pretty Produce: Romanesco & Purple Cauliflower Pasta

Once again, I am swayed by pretty produce.

You had better bring your wallet to Mario Batali's and Lidia Bastianich's mega Italian superstore, a.k.a EATALY.

Even if you think you don't need anything there, you do.

I needed some nice orange marmalade, and I wound up with 3 different jars, all from different parts of Italy, all tasting insanely good and bitter.

I don't even go down the pasta aisle for fear of hurting my back carrying all the goodies home.

This time I bought produce.
Stuff I can't find anywhere in my hood (20 miles away, sad to say).

I bought Muscat grapes that were the best grape I have ever tasted. They had green almonds with soft skins and these beautiful tri-color MINI cauliflower heads.

They were so cute, they begged me to take them home to cuddle with.

The green thorny things are known as Romanesco. You can buy big heads of these if you can find them, but mini ones?

Purple cauliflower is also a treat, and stays nice and purpley even when you cook it (unlike purple asparagus that turns green!).

The orange cauliflower were new to me, and I thought all three would make a nice trio for a pasta dish or salad.

Husband voted pasta, so here it is.

Tri-colore Cauliflower w/ Tagliatelle: Oh boy.

1/2 lb. of your favorite pasta (I used fresh spinach tagliatelle)
1/2 head of cauliflower cut into florets (I used all 4 mini heads here)
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4 anchovies, chopped (don't panic, they dissolve when you cook them)
olive oil
1/2-3/4 cup of chicken stock
handful of golden raisins
1/4 cup of starchy pasta water
grated Parmigiano Reggiano for the top

While your pasta water is cooking, make the sauce.

In a large heavy skillet, heat the anchovies and garlic with some olive oil on medium heat for about 2 minutes, until anchovies dissolve.

Add in the cauliflower florets and cook until soft, all the while adding in the chicken stock gradually, so the pan doesn't get dry and there is a sauce (a few tablespoons of stock at a time). This will take about 8-10 minutes.

Once the cauliflower can easily be broken up with a wooden spoon, you are ready to add in the pasta.

Drain the pasta from the salted water, and save 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water.

Add the pasta and water to the cauliflower sauce in the pan and toss together.

Add some grated cheese to the top and serve.

Simple and delicious.


Katie C. said…
Do the different color cauliflowers have different tastes?
Natalia said…
I love Eataly - have even taken a cooking class there taught by produce queen Alicia Walter. These little cauliflowers are pretty. Need to look out for them next time I'm there!
mil said…
How could anyone resist such a beautiful dish? A work of art besides being good for you and tasting great!
Another winner from STA!
Anonymous said…
Hooray! a comment from MIL! Welcome back.
Ciao Chow Linda said…
Yea for MIL and yea for broccoli romanesco, my favorite vegetable. It appears sporadically in my health food store near my home, but I once saw the baby ones at Whole Foods - super expensive. I'd love a dish of your pasta for lunch today. Any leftovers?
Anonymous said…
Anchovies, schmanchovies - no problem there, but sultanas scare the sh*t outta me. Welcome back MIL!