Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Penne with Green Cauliflower

Yesterday I took a ten minutes break after a busy morning in front of my computer screen. I went out, bought a newspaper and couldn’t resist a quick detour to our local greengrocer where I saw a beautiful green cauliflower, so beautiful that it looked liked a piece of art, a great sculpture. I couldn’t spend my time admiring it, so bought it. I love the fact that this shop has a neat pile of paper bags of varying size to put the fruit and vegetables in and not the normal role of mangled plastic bags. I moved to the till.

It was nearly lunch time so it could be used immediately. Because the way our life is arranged we are still able to keep the Italian tradition of lunch as the main meal.
Back home I put the green cauliflower on a cloth as I didn’t really want to cut it. Somebody told me that they are green because during their growth the leaves are removed so the exposed flower starts producing chlorophyll and turns emerald. Other sources claim that it is an hybrid between white cauliflower and broccoli.

I decided to prepare a quick Pasta con Cavolfiore (Pasta with cauliflower). I had a look on the kitchen shelves and found garlic, black olives and capers. I always keep fresh flat parsley in a little vase.

I have used local black olives that are very tasty. Try to find good olives as canned pitted olives are often tasteless. I didn’t have the time and the energy to pit the olives so if you want to emulate me, please mind your teeth! Do use capers kept in salt; avoid capers in vinegar, so far I’ve not been able to work out what they’re for.

Penne con Cavolfiore Verde - Penne with Green Cauliflower

Serves 4
Time: 30 minutes


1 medium size green cauliflower
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 clove of garlic
30 black pitted olives
1 or 2 tablespoons of capers preserved in salt. Rinsed.
1 pound (450 grams) penne
Sea salt as required

1. Fill a large saucepan with water, add the required salt and boil while you are preparing the cauliflower.

2. Remove the leaves and cut the cauliflower into florets.

3. Place the florets in a steamer and steam them until they can be pierced with a fork (about 10 min)

4. While the two saucepans are performing their duty put on a low flame a large frying pan with the olive oil, a chopped clove of garlic and the olives. Cook for 3 minutes or until the garlic turns light golden then add the rinsed capers and the chopped parsley.

5. Put the pasta in the boiling water.

6. The cauliflower should be ready by now so add it to the frying pan. Add some hot water from the steamer when required. Keep cooking. I did not add salt because both the olives and the capers are salty but if you like more “saporito” taste and do not have problems with your arteries, add your required amount.

7. After draining the pasta add it to the frying pan and mix all with a wooden spoon.

8. Serve it

It took about half an hour to prepare this beautiful tasty and healthy dish. I don’t know if it is just my impression but I find the green cauliflower more intense and sweeter in taste. We all loved this dish.

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