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The Cook's Toolkit

The Cook's Toolkit
The Cook's Toolkit by Clever Pumpkin.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Pasta with Caramelised Cauiflower, Pancetta, Pine Nuts & Cheese





One pot, one frying pan; nutty, smoky, tangy, creamy and sweet all at once; mouth-watering, nutritious, deeply satisfying and cheap because we're using seasonal ingredients at their best.  What more could you ask?  Well, someone to cook it for you.  Send me a plane ticket.  I'll be right there.

Ingredients (per person)

1 ½ tbsp, pine nuts, toasted
1 ½ cups small cauliflower florets
¾ cup orecchiete pasta
1 tbsp marinated chevre or feta, broken into small pieces
4 thin slices mild pancetta
2 tbsp reggiano parmigiano (parmesan cheese), grated


Note: cauliflower will take about 20 minutes to caramelise.  Hopefully that tip will help you to time cooking the pasta! 
  1. Toast pine nuts in a frying pan over a low heat until just golden.  Please don’t overdo it or they will become bitter.  Immediately remove from pan to a plate; otherwise they will keep processing in the warm pan.
  2. Cook pasta in boiling, salted water, according to packet directions, timing to finish about the same time as the cauliflower and pancetta, below.
  3. Add a little olive oil to the same frying pan you used to toast the pine nuts and gently fry cauliflower florets, turning, until nearly tender and nicely golden all over (about 15 mins.)  Add diced pancetta to the pan and fry until beginning to crisp (about another 5 mins.)
  4. Drain and plate pasta; spoon cauliflower & pancetta mixture over the top; sprinkle with toasted pine nuts, dot chevre or fetta over, and finish with grated parmesan cheese.
  5. Tuck in!

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