Saturday, April 16, 2011

Orecchiette with Cauliflower, Bacon and Toasted Breadcrumbs

I had this dish for dinner in the city with a group of co-workers to celebrate the holidays back in December. Once I got home I started looking for a recipe that was similar so I could try and recreate it. This was a very close second, the caramelized cauliflower is sweet and the breadcrumbs give it a nice crunch. Delicious!!

Adapted from:

1 Large Head of Cauliflower - (Cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
1 Box Orecchiette pasta
2/3 cup Bread Crumbs
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
4 Slices of Pre-Cooked Bacon
1 Shallot - Finely diced
2 Cloves of Garlic - Minced
7 Tbsp Olive Oil
S&P to taste
Parmesan Cheese if desired
Begin by preheating  the oven to 425 F and put a large pot of salted water on the stove for the pasta. In a medium sized bowl combine the cauliflower with 3 Tbsp of olive oil, salt & pepper. Toss to coat. Transfer the cauliflower onto a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. While the cauliflower is roasting you can make your toasted breadcrumbs.
Heat 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the plain breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning. If your breadcrumbs are flavored you do not need to add extra seasoning. Stir often to moisten all of the crumbs. Once they are golden and toasty remove from the pan and set aside. Use a paper towel to wipe the skillet clean. Your water should be boiling by now, cook the pasta according to the package.
Using the same pan heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Saute the shallots with the garlic for 2 minutes stirring frequently to keep it from burning. Add the pre-cooked bacon and continue stirring. If you have regular bacon you will need to cook it before hand, then dice it up. If you are doing this I would keep it slightly soft since it will continue to cook and crisp in the pan.
Add the roasted cauliflower into the pan mixing it well into the other ingredients. At this point your pasta should be finished cooking, drain the water and add the pasta to the pan. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil over the pasta and toss until everything is well combined. Spoon into bowls, sprinkle with toasted breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
 Enjoy!! - Nicole

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