It is my privilege to share with you by permission, this article "Waste Not, Want Not" by Lidia Matticchino Bastianich from Lidia's Italy and owner of New York City restaurant, Felidia. I am so intrigued by this practice, and her encouragement to utilize the earth for it's resources, but at the same time replenishing and "not wasting". I try in my everyday cooking practices to conserve and use everything I purchase, but some practices which she shares in her recipe I made for you today, reusing the same water to cook the vegetables as well as the pasta, I have not even thought of before.
I am no longer intrigued nor fascinated alone.. but I am hooked! Yes, I can see that I conserved water and eliminated having to use two large stock size pots.. but the combination of flavors from the cauliflower and pasta water made such a beautiful tasting broth to add to the garlic, peperoncino and parsley saute. I love learning something new and welcome especially this day and age, tools and techniques that would allow me to be a more conscientious cook. This is a "FABULOUS recipe and I am so proud to have been sent this that I may share it with you. My family and I loved it and I know you will too!
"Waste Not, Want Not" and Make it Delicious!
By Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali,
Author of Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy: A Feast of 175 Regional Recipes
There is no more appropriate time than now to think about how and why we cook. Food is a way of connecting with the people who surround us. Through it, we communicate emotions like love, compassion and understanding, and there is no better opportunity to communicate with our children than at the table. It's where we can discuss our values of life that are important to us as individuals, as a family and as a part of the world we live in.
As over consumption and greed have come to haunt us, now is a time for reﬂection. We should be looking back at the generations before us to understand their approach to the table. Growing food, shepherding animals, foraging for the gifts of nature is all part of respecting food. Nothing needs to be wasted. Bread can be recycled and used in soups, casseroles, lasagnas and desserts. Water is carefully conserved as in the pasta recipe I share below where the same water in which vegetables are cooked is used to cook the pasta that follows, and then that is saved for soups or for making risotto.
When one respects the food we prepare, it also leads to a more sensible and balanced intake of proteins, legumes and vegetables. So "waste not, want not" and make it delicious!
Excerpt from Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy (Alfred A. Knopf, 2009)
FRESH CAVATELLI WITH CAULIFLOWER
Maccarun ch'I Hiucc
Fresh Cavatelli with Cauliflower shared from the youngest of all the Italian regions Molise, adding rich flavors from the pastoral farmland kitchens.
Cauliﬂower is one of my favorite vegetables, and I regret that many people don't sufﬁciently appreciate its unique ﬂavor and nutritional value. This is not the case in Molise, where it is cooked often and creatively, as exempliﬁed by the following two simple vegetarian pasta dishes. The ﬁrst recipe, maccarun ch'i hiucc, is zesty with garlic and peperoncino.
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta pot
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
7 plump garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
½ teaspoon peperoncino ﬂakes, or to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 large head cauliﬂower, cut in small ﬂorets
1 batch (1½ pounds) Fresh Cavatelli (preceding recipe), or 1 pound dried pasta
1 cup freshly grated pecorino (or half pecorino and half Grana Padano or Parmigiano-
Reggiano, for a milder ﬂavor)
Recommended equipment: A large pasta pot; a heavy-bottomed skillet or sauté pan, 12 inch diameter or
Fill the large pot with salted water (at least 6 quarts water with 1 tablespoon salt), and heat to a boil. Pour the olive oil into the skillet, set over medium-high heat, and scatter in the sliced garlic. Let the garlic start to sizzle, then toss in the peperoncino and parsley; stir and cook for a minute. Ladle in a cup of the pasta cooking water, stir well, and adjust the heat to keep the liquid in the skillet simmering and reducing gradually while you cook the cauliﬂower and pasta. With the pasta 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 (if you are using dried pasta, it will, of course, take longer).
Lift out the ﬂorets and cavatelli with a spider or strainer, drain brieﬂy, and spill them into the skillet. Toss well, to coat all the pasta and vegetable pieces with the garlicky dressing, then turn off the heat, sprinkle over the skillet the grated cheese, and toss again. Heap the cauliﬂower and cavatelli in warm bowls, and serve immediately.
And now from my kitchen DMC.. preparations for the "Fresh Cavatelli With Cauliflower"
Rolling dough into a long this rope.
Rolling cavatelli's on my gnocci board. Very similar pastas!
Gnocci board; a must tool in the Italian kitchen. Dough and rolled Cavatelli.
Cavatelli. Fresh pasta freezes wonderfully!
Garlic.. the recipe calls for seven plump cloves!
The smell of this sauteing was enough to be a distraction to the Super Bowl viewers!
Caulliflower.. one of the stars of the show!
Cavatelli at a rapid boil. When they are done they float to the top.
Locatelli Romano Cheese.. the recipe called for Parmesan but this is what I had on hand.
Hot, spicy, cheesy and delicious "Cavatelli With Cauliflower".