cauliflower ragu

we looked up ragu and usually it would have a base of carrots, celery, onion, crushed tomatoes and meat.  This recipe from Molto Gusto by Mario Batali isn’t really any of this.  No mise, no tomatoes, no meat.  We tried it out for supper tonight.  It was good.  Not extraordinary, but good.  It’s nice to find full flavored meatless meals.  We had it with a little bit of salad.

I found the recipe pre-typed on



Prep Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 1 1/2 hrs
1. Halve cauliflower. Remove leaves and cut out core and reserve. Cut cauliflower into small bite-size florets, reserving stalks. Chop core, leaves and stalks.
2. Combine oil, onion, garlic, and cauliflower core, leaves, and stalks in large pot, season with sea salt, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until leaves are just beginning to wilt, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until leaves are just tender, 18-20 minutes.
3. Add cauliflower florets, red pepper flakes, and 1 cup water and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to gently simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is almost falling apart, 22-25 minutes. Add butter, stirring gently until it melts; season well with sea salt. Remove from heat.  While the sauce simmers, drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a shallow frying pan.  Pour in 1/2 cup of panko breadrumbs and 1 1/2 teaspoons of minced rosemary.  Toast and brown while the sauce finishes cooking.
4. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Drop pasta and cook until just al dente.
5. Drain pasta, reserrving about 2/3 cup pasta water. Add pasta and 1/3 cup reserved water to ragu. Toss over medium heat until pasta is well coated (add more pasta water to thin sauce). Stir in cheese.
6. Transfer pasta to serving bowl, sprinkle with bread crumbs and rosemary, and serve with additional grated cheese.


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