Saturday, September 3, 2011

Tagliatelli w/ cauliflower strascicata - Jared Ingersoll

Now that we've finally unpacked, and Ive decluttered the kitchen somewhat, Ive managed to get cooking properly again! I really wanted to get stuck into something else from Jared Ingersolls book, Dank St Depot, but when I was looking through it, the things I wanted to cook I wasnt in the mood for, or I needed more time to prepare. So I ended up going for the pasta with cauliflower, because we ALWAYS have cauli in our vege box, and I run out of ways to use it...

Heres the recipe from the book...

Ingredients (serves 4)
400g Spaghetti (I used tagliatelli)
100ml EVOO
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into pieces about the size of ur thumbnail)
3 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly (I used 2 huge ones)
3 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 large chillies, chopped (keep seeds in for more heat)
50g salted capers, rinsed and chopped (I used capers in vinegar, because Woolies failed me again, I rinsed them 3 times though, to get rid of too much tang)
100g pitted olives, chopped (I omitted them, cos neither of us live olives)
1 punch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
60g toasted sourdough breadcrumbs
200g freshly grated parmesan

1) Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain, then cool; while cooling, drizzle with a little EVOO, then gently toss.

2) In a large heavy based frying pan, heat the rest of the oil over a medium heat, add the cauli and fry until just starting to colour. Add the garlic, mix well, then add the anchovies, chillies, capers and olives.

3) When the cauli starts to become to tender and has a rich brown colour, add half of the parsley and the cooked spag. When the pasta is hot, add the rest of the parsley, breadcrumbs and parmesan.

This I cannot stress enough, use the BIGGEST pan you have! I underestimated how big my pan needed to be and ended up making a mess of my stove because I spilled everything! This fella knows what hes talking about when he says "in a LARGE heavy based pan...", use one bigger than you need if necessary, theres alot of stirring and tossing of ingredients, save mess! Big pan!

4) The parmesan will start to stick to the pan, use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan (this is where the term strascicata comes from, meaning drag). Remove from the heat, serve immediately with a wedge of lemon.

Due to my bfs aversion to meals without meat, I served this with a couple of lamb cutlets bought from my local butcher. I have to say, I nailed the lamb, it was cooked perfectly, given ample time to rest, they were juicy and pink. YUM! They went really well with this dish too, as I think you need a meat strong enough to contend with the capers, anchovies and parmesan, which these juicy little morsels did, and with pleasure! I also think it would go so well with fish flaked through it, smoked fish, salmon, a meaty white fish... experiment to your hearts content!

The pasta itself was good. I would do a few things differently next time, though keeping the ingredients essentially the same. As Im not a huge fan of anchovies, I found this recipe allowed too much of the actual anchovy flavour to come through, rather than as a seasoning or layer of flavour. I would add it first, before the cauli, to allow it to dissolve, and it would compliment the cooking garlic perfectly, and flavour the oil that the cauli gets cooked in. Actually, Id probably add everything else, first, and the cauli last, but blanch it first to take the initial crunch out of it.

Id definately make this again, but Id make some changes, purely for my own personal tastes. Bf loved it, he wants me to make it again, so Im sure that I will! Its also a great way to sneak cauli into your meals, and introduced me to a new way of preparing it... next time im just going to cook the cauli, perhaps with some cumin, coriander, S&P... the new popcorn!?

PS check out this link, its pretty much the same recipe but altered for the TV show ready steady cook, and it serves less...

PPS sorry for the horrible way the photos have come out! For some reason, has changed the way you upload pics and taken away the ability to resize pics yourself, you can only choose a preset size. As such, my photos have come out all stretched and weird, and I dont know how to fix it, without going to another website and hosting my pics in a smaller format... Ill get around to it but for now, you get the gist. 

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