Pasta with Cauliflower and Garlic Bagna Cauda

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The Pasta Man is a young lawyer from Washington, DC. He cooks a lot of pasta and other things, too. He blogs at www.thepastamanblog.com.

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This dish is such a classic for me that I couldn’t believe I’d never blogged about it for Magic Bullet. It’s an easy weeknight dish: an incredibly delicious pasta with somewhat off-beat ingredients and is reasonably healthy to boot.

If you think you don’t like cauliflower, this will change your mind: the high heat gets it crispy, sweet and delicious. And if you think you don’t like anchovies, well, first of all, you’re nuts, but second of all, this will also turn you into a convert: the combination of raw garlic and anchovies (which creates the lovely Italian flavors of “bagna cauda”) gives a lip-smacking, slap-your-grandma flavor burst in lieu of a sauce. When I started making this dish, I wasn’t too acquainted with using fennel seed, either, but it gives a nice subtle anise-y flavor that really contrasts nicely with the rest.

With a big thank you to Adam Roberts (aka the Amateur Gourmet), from whom I’ve adapted this amazing dish.

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Pasta with Cauliflower and Garlic Bagna Cauda

Ingredients

  • 1 pound short pasta (like rigatoni)
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets, stem removed
  • 1 tin anchovies, reserving oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • Olive oil, to taste
  • Big dash of red pepper flakes
  • Grated parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roast cauliflower florets until crispy, about twenty minutes. Meanwhile, boil pasta in heavily salted water until al dente.
  2. Blend garlic in Magic Bullet, then add the anchovies with their oil and the red pepper flakes and blend.
  3. Mix together the pasta, the blended ingredients, and the cauliflower. Drizzle with olive oil for added richness. Serve, passing parmesan.

Enjoy!

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