"Fresh Cavatelli With Cauliflower"
and an article
by Lidia Matticchino Bastianich

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!

Buon Appetito!

"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)

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.

Serves 6
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"

I used a ricotta pasta dough recipe for my cavatelli. It is very tender and rolls with ease.

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".


5 Star Foodie said...

Yum! This sounds wonderful and perfect for dinner tomorrow as I need to use up my cauliflower! Homemade cavetelli sound outstanding!

nintendo r4 said...

These sound wonderful. I've never made these before but I love Cauliflower taste so I'm certain I will enjoy these. Thanks!

George Gaston said...

Laurie, cauliflower is one of those vegetables I don't fix often, but here you have made it look so incredible I just might have to try it your way. What a beautiful presentation and terrific photographs.

I look forward to reading through your past post...

The Blonde Duck said...


redkathy said...

What a refreshing, delicious post! My mother used to make these quite often, superb pasta and with cauliflower, fantastic!

Brad said...

Looks and sound great thanks for the article very interesting.

Sophie said...

What an impressive post! The pasta is gorgeous. The close-up photos featuring the pasta rolling are amazing, I'm not sure if I have the patience to do that--lovely job!

Lori Lynn said...

Fabulous post! Your photos are stunning. Boy oh boy am I craving this pasta now!

Proud Italian Cook said...

I could smell that garlic sizzling
Laurie, the fresh cavetelli, the cheese, cauliflower, what a scrumptious meal, you're the best!
Happy V-Day my friend.

Kim said...

Laurie, this truly is amazing. I see why you're so taken with this. We've been getting into gnocchi lately, but I've never considered making cavetelli before. Do you have any idea where you could get one of these boards? I've never seen one before.

Cynthia said...

Lydia is a true gem and a born teacher. I have learnt and continue to learn so much from her.

I too try to use the same water for boiling stuff when the things I am preparing for a particular meal requires that sort of preparation.

Sophia said...

Thank you for sharing this recipe, one favorite of the whole family. I'll try this over the weekend!

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