Orecchiette with Cauliflower, Anchovies and Pistachios

Pasta dishes that Barbara Lynch sampled while she was traveling in Sicily served as the inspiration for this nutty and earthy orecchiette.

Plus: More Pasta Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 6

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  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 5 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the pistachios in a pie plate and bake for about 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

  2. In a medium saucepan of boiling water, blanch the cauliflower florets for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.

  3. In a large, deep skillet, cook the butter over moderate heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook over moderately high heat until golden. Add the anchovies and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 3 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orecchiette until al dente. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Stir in the parsley, Parmesan and crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed bowl, sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Highlight the saltiness of the anchovies and Parmesan in this pasta with a young, very dry and fragrant rosé from Sicily that has a slightly bitter edge.

Contributed By Photo © Keller & Keller Published March 2001

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