Like other Sundays, I had originally planned to do quite a number of outdoor activities today. But thanks to typhoon Frank, which hit Metro Manila early today, all my affairs had been postponed. Not content with just lounging around the house, I took advantage of the opportunity to do something I haven’t done for weeks: cook.
It’s a simple cauliflower pasta recipe by Martha Stewart. She claims that it’s one of her favorite pasta dishes. I cooked it for Sunday lunch with the family. Admittedly, the ingredients for this dish are quite expensive, considering that pine nuts are imported and are only available in select stores. I also needed to open a whole bottle of wine, although I only used a cup of it.
Thankfully the dish was a hit. And my “worst” critics — my family — completely cleaned the dish!
It’s not the usual pasta we normally have in the Philippines. Normally pasta for Pinoys is lots of tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. This recipe does not use either two ingredients. The flavor is very rustic, yet considering the ingredients, there’s quite a touch of sophistication. Roasted yellow bell peppers come with it as a side dish.
I’ve modified the recipe a bit for easier cooking.
300 grams penne or farfalle (bowtie) noodles, boiled
2 cups cauliflower
1 cup golden raisins (they’re the yellow raisins)
2 small cans anchovies fillet, chopped
1/2 cup chopped garlic
2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup white wine
2 cups fresh basil, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
In medium heat, saute garlic in olive oil. Add cauliflower and raisins, and simmer for 5-10 minutes, adding salt and pepper while cooking. Add white wine, and simmer for 3 minutes. Add cooked noodles, and cook until the wine’s flavor has been incorporated to the noodles.
Remove from heat. Mix in the toasted pine nuts. I used the oven toaster for this. Martha toasted them using the pan and stove. Mix in the chopped basil.
Serves 5 to 6.
Yellow Bell Pepper Side Dish
3 yellow bell peppers
As an option, you can lightly brush bell peppers with olive oil. You can roast it directly on the stove top without using any pan, just as Martha did. But I wanted to save time, and I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of just putting the bell peppers on the stove. So what I did was to use my creme brulee torch. Roast the bell pepper until burned black (yes, that’s right). And using a paper towel, wipe bell peppers to remove the burns. Chop into big pieces and remove the seeds.