Rigatoni al cavalofiorePosted: Updated:
"Rigatoni with cauliflower." This dish comes from Sicily where cauliflower is used in a unique way with layering of flavors by making a ragu with the stems and leaves of the cauliflower that are often discarded here in the US. Cauliflower is now in season locally here in AZ. Check out Bob McClendon at McClendon’s Select Citrus at the Town and Country green market, Wednesday at Camelback and 20th street.
1 head cauliflower
4 sliced garlic cloves
1 wide Julienne red onion
Crushed red pepper to taste
2 sprigs rosemary
4 Tbsp. butter
Extra virgin olive oil as needed
1 cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
Bread crumbs as needed
Pecorino cheese as needed
1 lb. rigatoni pasta
Cut the flourettes off the head of cauliflower. Toss them with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Bake in a 350 degree oven until soft and caramelized.
Rough chop the cauliflower stems.
In a large sauté pan slowly heat the butter until melted. Add the onions and season well with salt and pepper and sauté until golden brown.
Add the sliced garlic, lower the heat and cook until soft and clear
Add the, crushed red pepper and rosemary sauté briefly and add the white wine.
Bring one gallon of water to a boil and salt it well.
Add the cauliflower stems and leaves to the water and cook until just soft to the tooth.
Remove the cauliflower pieces from the water and add them to the onion and garlic mixture. Cook the ragu slowly until the cauliflower is soft. Water may be added to the ragu if it appears to dry.
Cook the rigatoni in the boiling water until al dente.
Add the rigatoni to the ragu and toss well.
Add the flourettes to the pan and toss well.
Toss the pasta with the pecorino cheese and serve topped with bread crumbs
For the full Sicilian treatment, finish with toasted pine nuts and raisins to add a little sweetness and some nice nuttiness!