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Cavatelli Con Pancetta e Cavolfiore - what a wonderful way to prepare cauliflower! I am always looking for different ways of cooking cauliflower, this turned out better than expected! From Lidia Bastianich web site.
- 8 ounces sliced pancetta, cut into 1-inchsticks (about 1-1/2 cups - 1/4-inchslices)
- 1 lb dried cavatelli or 1 lb cavatappi pasta or 1 lb pasta shells
- 2 cups onions, diced (1/2-inch)
- 3 cups cauliflower, stalks removed, florets cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/2 head)
- crushed hot red pepper flakes
- 1 1⁄2 cups hot chicken stock or 1 1⁄2 cups canned reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1⁄4 cup fine dry breadcrumb (as needed)
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in an 8-quart pot over high heat.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta has rendered some of its fat and is lightly browned but still soft in the center, about 4 minutes.
- Don’t overcook the pancetta.
- Stir the cavatelli into the boiling water.
- Return to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Cook the pasta, semi-covered, stirring occasionally, until done, about 10 minutes.
- Stir the onions into the skillet and cook until barely wilted, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is wilted and begins to brown, about 4 minutes.
- Season lightly with salt and a little crushed red pepper.
- Pour the chicken stock into the skillet, bring to a boil, and lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer.
- Cook until the vegetables are tender and the liquid is reduced by about one-half, about 5 minutes.
- If the skillet is large enough to accommodate the sauce and pasta, fish the pasta out of the boiling water with a large wire skimmer and drop it directly into the sauce in the skillet.
- If not, drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and pour in the sauce.
- Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, tossing and stirring to coat the pasta.
- Check the seasoning, adding salt if necessary.
- Stir the bread crumbs, parsley, and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the pot.
- Cook, stirring and tossing the pasta, until the sauce is lightly thickened.
- Serve at once & enjoy!