Fregola with Minted Cauliflower

This terrific vegetarian entree features fregola. Mourad Lahlou likes making the dish with seasonal heirloom tomatoes baked in salt; roasted grape tomatoes are a fine substitute.

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  • Servings: 4
KEY: Chef Recipes Made Easy, Pasta & Noodles, Vegetarian, Dinner

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  • 1/2 head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups fregola
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves, torn

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grate half of the cauliflower on the large holes of a box grater, stopping when you reach the stems; you should have about 1 cup of grated cauliflower that resembles coarsely grated parmesan. Finely chop the stems and the remaining cauliflower; you should have about 2 cups.
  2. In a saucepan, add the chopped cauliflower, cream, water and 2 tablespoons of the butter; season with salt. Cover and cook over moderate heat until the cauliflower is tender and the liquid is nearly evaporated, 8 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a food processor and puree until very smooth. Wipe out the saucepan and return the puree to it; keep warm.
  3. In a small baking dish, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil. Roast for about 10 minutes, just until the skins begin to burst.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the fregola and cook until al dente. Drain the fregola and return it to the pot. Add the vegetable broth, the crushed red pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and cook over low heat, stirring until the sauce is creamy. Stir in the grated cauliflower and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mint.
  5. Spoon the cauliflower puree onto plates. Top with the fregola and roasted tomatoes and serve immediately.

Suggested Pairing

Clean, lemony Soave.

Contributed By Photo © Kamran Siddiqi Published November 2010

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481537 recipes/fregola-minted-cauliflower 2013-12-06 Mourad Lahlou chef-recipes-made-easy|pasta-and-noodles|4|vegetarian|weeknight-dinner november-2010 recipes,fregola-minted-cauliflower 481537