Cauliflower Pasta with Pecorino, Grated Egg, and Pine Nuts
Inspired by the Sicilian approach to cauliflower (but without the expensive saffron), this pasta gets its distinctive, delicious taste from slowly caramelizing the cauliflower in a skillet until the vegetable turns musky sweet. Pecorino sharpens up the pasta, and the addition of grated eggs gives it a satisfying richness.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest (or more)
- 0.33 coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, or a combination of parsley and fresh mint leaves
- 2 Ounce grated pecorino cheese
- 2 cup whole-wheat penne pasta
- 0.75 tsp kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- 1 large head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds each), cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 4 garlic clove, minced
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1.5 tsp ground coriander
- 6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 0.5 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more)
- Place eggs in a small saucepan and add cold water to cover by 2". Bring water to a boil over high heat; immediately remove from heat and let eggs sit for 9 minutes. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water. Let cool completely; peel and coarsely grate. Set aside.
- Heat 4 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in coriander and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add onion, garlic, cauliflower, and 3/4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring often, until cauliflower is golden brown, tender, and sweet, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook penne in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup pasta cooking water.
- Return skillet with cauliflower to medium-high heat. Add reserved pasta cooking water and penne; toss gently to combine. Cook for 1 minute, then stir in reserved grated egg, cheese, parsley, and lemon zest and juice. Drizzle penne with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and season to taste with salt and more lemon zest, juice, and red pepper flakes, if desired. Divide among warm bowls and garnish with pine nuts.
Recipe Credit: Sara Dickerman
Image Credit: Sarah Flotard