Prep 25 mins
Cook 15 mins
Casareccie Vruocchele e Vredocchie - This dish couldn't be bad if it tried to be! All the ingredients = fabulous! This is from Lidia Bastianich's new cookbook "Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy" and we made this last night and it was awesome! Comfort food, oh yes! :)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta pot
- 6 ounces day- old country bread (6 ounces)
- 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 plump garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (just go slowly)
- 1 lb head cauliflower, cut in small florets
- 1 1⁄2 lbs fresh cavatelli pasta or 1 lb dry pasta
- 1⁄3 cup sliced almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Fill the large pot with salted water (at least 6 quarts water with 1 tablespoon salt), and heat to a boil.
- Grate the bread chunk on the coarse holes of a box grater into a mixing bowl; you should have about 2 cups of fluffy crumbs.
- Pour 5 tablespoons of the olive oil into the skillet, set it over medium-high heat, and scatter in the sliced garlic and peperoncino & let them sizzle for a minute or so, then dump in the bread crumbs, and stir to moisten them with the oil.
- Toast the crumbs for about 5 minutes, tossing them and shaking the pan almost continuously, until they’re golden and crisp; adjust the heat so neither the bread crumbs nor the garlic gets too dark.
- Turn off the heat, and pour the toasted crumbs and garlic into the serving bowl.
- Meanwhile, start cooking the cauliflower and cavatelli.
- With the cooking water at a rolling boil, drop in the cauliflower florets, and cook them for about 3 minutes, until barely tender.
- Drop in the cavatelli, stir, and return the water quickly to a boil.
- Cook another 4 to 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is fully tender and the pasta is al dente.
- Quickly drain them (you can empty the pot into a colander) and spill the pasta and florets on top of the bread crumbs in the bowl.
- Sprinkle the almonds, parsley, and salt,over the bowl and toss everything together well, until the crumbs and almonds are evenly distributed and coat the pasta and cauliflower florets.
- Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil all over, and toss again.
- Serve immediately, right from the bowl.