Orecchiette With Cauliflower (Orecchiette Con Il Cavolfiore)
Orecchiette, a pasta traditional to the Puglia region of Italy, stars in this simple yet delicious dish.
- 4 ounces bacon lardons or pancetta, cubed
- 2 1⁄4 pound green cauliflower florets
- 14 ounces fresh orecchiette
- 1 1⁄3 cups grated pecorino cheese
- sea salt and ground black pepper
- Place the lardons or cubed pancetta in a cold frying pan. Heat gently until the fat runs, then cook without browning for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook them for 5–7 minutes.
- Add the orecchiette to the pan, stir once and cook for 2–3 minutes, or until the pasta shapes rise to the surface of the water.
- Drain the cauliflower and the orecchiette, and transfer the mixture into a warmed serving bowl.
- Add the fried lardons or pancetta and the grated pecorino cheese to the orecchiette and cauliflower mixture.
- Add a generous grinding of black pepper to the orecchiette mixture, toss well to mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly and serve immediately.
- You can use streaky/fatty bacon instead of pancetta or lardons, but fry it until crisp before adding it to the pasta.
- You can use dried pasta if you add the cauliflower to the pan towards the end of the pasta’s cooking time.