Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pasta with Cauliflower, Bacon, and Sage

Finally back on my two feet again after convalescing from my most recent hockey injury so that means lots of cooking to do! Weeknight with a head of cauliflower as well as our usual stock of bacon in the frig and some sage still growing in the yard so this Martha Stewart dish looked like the deal. Of course I added a couple of my own twists but basically it stays true to her recipe.

Fresh sage and cauliflower

Cauliflower cut into florets

Bacon in the skillet

Mise en place

Bacon, not too crispy, thank you

Onions and garlic, translucent in the butter and bacon fat

Adding the cauliflower

Diced bacon and chopped sage

Just before we add the pasta



Servings: 3-4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Tools:
Large skillet
Large pot for cooking pasta
chef's knife

Ingredients:
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 slices thick-cut bacon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
1/2 pound farfalle
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
kosher salt
fresh-cracked black pepper
parmigiano-reggiano cheese for serving

Directions:
Prepare the cauliflower, onion, garlic, and sage leaves for mise en place.
In a large skillet over a medium-low heat, lay out the bacon slices and cook slowly turning frequently to brown evenly but short of crispy (that's how I like it, anyway). Once cooked, drain on paper towels. Leave the bacon grease in the skillet and raise the heat to medium.
Add the butter to melt. Once it has stopped foaming, add the diced onion and sliced garlic, cooking until translucent.
Heat a large pot of well salted water in which to cook the farfalle.
Add the cauliflower to the skillet, turning with the onion and garlic until combined. Cover the skillet and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender but not mushy, about 10-12 minutes.
Meanwhile once the pot of water for the pasta is boiling, add the farfalle and cook to 1 minute short of the time recommended on the box. About a minute before the pasta is cooked, ladle out about 1 cup of the pasta water and set aside.
Before the cauliflower is cooked, cut the cooked bacon into small dice and combine with the chopped sage leaves. When the cauliflower is done, add the bacon and sage to the skillet to combine, and let everything continue cooking until fragrant, a couple of minutes.
When the pasta is done, drain in a colander, then add it to the skillet, stirring to combine well with everything else. Add enough of the pasta water with the red wine vinegar to make a very light sauce coating the pasta.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with the cheese for diners to grate at the table on the pasta.