Mafalde and Roasted Cauliflower / Italian pasta vegetarian recipe


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    The cauliflower is the biggest time consuming aspect of this recipe. In a restaurant, we would have this done ahead of time. You can do the same thing. Then you just boil the pasta while you are cooking the onions and stir everything together. The remainder of this recipe should take you less than 30 minutes from start to plate.

    Sundried Tomatoes
    Caper Berries
    Additional Basil

    450g (16 oz) Cauliflower, trimmed
    200g (7 oz) Mafalde Pasta (or other)
    150g (5.3 oz) Onion, sliced
    2-3 T Basil, fresh
    2-3 cloves Garlic
    1 1/2 t Pink Peppercorns
    1/2 t Baking Soda
    1/4 t Nutmeg (optional)
    Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
    Olive Oil (see video)

    There is a LINK to this book on Amazon in the information box below this video.

    Which is quite surprising for a recipe that contains no butter and no smoked ingredients. If you are a vegetarian looking for something very new and satisfying, you have found it. If you aren't a vegetarian, then you can add prosciutto and other ingredietns as explained later in the video to fortify this even further.

    Forget what you think this recipe is going to taste like. There is almost no chance that you will be able to imagine the flavors by looking at the ingredients. The reason is that there is some rather complex flavor chemistry going on. I explained a little bit of this in Volume 2 of my cookbook series ("resonant flavors"), but this is more devious, yet. The caulilower takes on an unexpected flavor that is buttery and smokey.

    This recipe is an excellent canvas for other ingredients. If you like high quality anchovies, this is about as good as any recipe can get for showcasing them. Add some to every portion you plate up and you'll be in heaven!
    Hate anchovies? Okay, then try sundried tomatoes or prosciutto, or more fresh basil – or ANY COMBINATION.


    This is when you would add the 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg if you are going to use it, too. This will change the overall flavor quite a bit, even though it is only a small amount. So you will have to experiment to see if you like it.

  2. God I love this, I love your perks as using the olive oil from the broccoli marinade ❤️
    I think I'm falling in love with u, u'r amazing! ❤️ Thank you for everything you do!

  3. Its been a long time, I forgot about this recipe, getting old sucks, but I roased the cauliflower tonight, and I will finish it tomorrow. The basil comes from my garden I planted by seed, so its the first time I harvested any of it. I really really really need to marinate the brocolli next time, the oil makes it a lot better!!!

  4. Why didn't I made this as soon as you posted it? Man, this was delicious. I would say that this belongs to one of your best recipes, like the eggplant parmezan, italian meatballs etc. This makes me anticipating vol 3.5. I am wondering if the spice blend would work on drumsticks? It seems like a good spice blend for poultry, too.

  5. Chef, this is really a wonderful and amazing recipe. I made it with prosciutto which really enhanced the buttery, meaty flavor that somehow transform from those simple ingredients. The aroma from the crushed pink peppercorns is very strong, yet this recipe has no strong pepper flavor at all, and no cauliflower flavor either. The family has placed this one on the repeat list! Bravo on another unique and exceptional recipe.

  6. Anchovies are a delicious ingredient. But "still considered a vegetarian dish, even though containing anchovies". This is a problem. Vegetarian chefs sometimes think they can use fish products. A friend of mine ate "Chili non Carne" at a vegetarian restaurant. The chef owned up to using fish meal, for the umami taste, after my friend almost died from his severe allergy.

  7. Hey Chef! I found a large bunch of older fresh basil leaves in the bottom of my fridge, so I decoded to make this dish for my son. The good news is that the broccoli marinate is just about finished, I roasted 2 lbs of cauliflower tonight, so I can double this recipe. I am having a hard time believing that I am this excited about a vegetarian dish, but I only have you to blame…

  8. Great recipe. I tried it yesterday and the buttery aroma ist quite fascinating. Unfortunately my cauliflower was very bitter. But not because of the cooking. There seem to be very much variation in bitterness of the cauliflower you can buy. Is there a way to balance the bitterness. I thought of some fruit?

  9. This is the second recipe I've watched regarding cauliflower as a meat substitute. Interesting. The other was for faux buffalo wings. I will this a try even though I am not a vegetarian. I did wiki pink peppercorns. They said they are related to cashews. Would have never guessed that. Anyway it also said to be conscious of individuals with nut allergies. Thanks again chef.

  10. This was as I though it would be…..great, awesome, delicious, and accurate per your explanation on the taste.

    The easiest flavor to taste…buttery. It has a flavor so much like butter that I think you could fool any five star chef. The smokey flavor was present, just less obvious. It seemed like all the ingredients combined together to form one great flavor that an amateur home cook like myself love dearly but have a hard time explaining with words. in a few bites,i few of the pink peppercorn were not ground up properly but when I tasted them, there was a peppery fruity flavor (not what you were looking for yet not unpleasant at all)

    I added anchovies, extra basil (my favorite green herb) and self grated Parmigiano-Reggiano). I love this dish, the texture of the cauliflower was easy to bite down, yet slightly firm).
    I used imported fettuccine because i thought it was the closes to Mafalde pasta I could find. The textures of this dish were great and I do think if I can find Malfalde, the texture will be that much greater.

    I loved this dish Chef. I will eat this again and again, but not before I marinate the broccoli stems, its not hart to see that the marinate from this will improve this dish exponentially I hope I have expressed how I feel about this dish enough, but in a few words…..I love it!!!!!

  11. I am making the cauliflower part tonight, so I can make it tomorrow. I had a hell of a time finding pink peppercorns in phoenix, but I did find them at a store called AJs find fine foods. I pain 12 dollars for one ounce…lol

  12. I keep coming back to this recipe. It looks fantastic. I love pasta with olive oil, cauliflower, garlic and Parmesean cheese. This is 10 times better and I cannot even imagine how much I will love this dish!

  13. Mafaldi is one of my favorite Pastas. (I have about 8 boxes left in my pantry) Very hard to find here. I was weaned on a much simpler "versions" of this dish i.e., a few less ingredients and technique, they used cauliflower, or broccoli or, broccoli rape'. I hated it, but now I love it, and with the cauliflower especially. The basil surprised me…I never would have thought of that. They did not roast the Cauliflower. I never considered roasting it, which seems a MUCH better way to do it. This looks really fantastic! Would Brocolli or Rape' work with this? Thanks Chef!

  14. Pink Peppercorns.

    Yet another item to add to my collection…I'm glad a have a lot of cabinet space. But I freed up more room by getting those magnetic spice containers and stuck them on the side of the fridge….THE SPICE MUST FLOW!

    (Let me when you do something with unicorn tears!)

  15. I think I saw what you did there with the onions. You usually let it stay yellow but this is the first time you caramelize them for Italian food. I think that is to replicate the meat flavor and the cauliflower makes it satieting like meat does?

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