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Tagliatelle with Cauliflower and Crispy Capers

February 2, 2016

Tagliatelle with Cauliflower and Crispy Capers

You may notice that things looks a little different around here. Finally, the site looks close to the way I wanted it before I hired a dodgy developer in India who tacked it together with sellotape then buggered off and left me to deal. I hope now that it will be a lot more user friendly, organised and easier on the eye. There’s still a lot of housekeeping to do, so please bear with me if something doesn’t work – I will get it sorted.

I noticed, while this was happening, that there are only nine pasta recipes on this site, which makes no sense whatsoever for a writer who claims to be obsessed with the stuff. It’s a total disgrace. I promise to serve your carb needs better in future starting right here and now with this recipe, which includes toasty cauliflower, anchovies and capers, the latter fried until crisp.

You can make the anchovies more or less of a thing here – personally I love them so I add 8-10 fillets, but it’s up to you. Capers are brilliant fried, by the way. If you can, get the ones that come packed in salt as they have a much better flavour than those in brine. Rinse them, pat, then fry until their petals explode in the hot oil and they crisp up, salty and sharp. They may just be the best pasta garnish since oh, I don’t know, breadcrumbs fried in anchovy oil.

Tagliatelle with Cauliflower and Crispy Capers

500g good quality dried tagliatelle
8-10 anchovy fillets
1 large cauliflower, broken into florets
4 cloves garlic, 2 whole, 2 crushed
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2-3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and dried on kitchen paper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons oil, for frying (like groundnut or vegetable)
50g butter
Parmesan, to serve

Preheat the oven to 220C (425F). Toss the cauliflower with enough oil to coat plus salt, pepper, and 2 cloves of the garlic. Roast for around 40 minutes until tender and golden.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Heat the veg oil in a small saucepan and fry the capers in it until crisp, then drain on kitchen paper.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a pan and add the anchovies until they melt. Add the crushed garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a minute or so, stirring. Add the cooked cauliflower plus some salt and pepper and stir until combined.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and add the cauliflower mixture, plus some lemon juice and parsley. Taste for seasoning and serve with grated Parmesan and the crispy capers.

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