Campanelle with cauliflower, sundried tomatoes and garlic

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Campanelle with cauliflower, sundried tomatoes and garlic


. Difficulty: Easy . Serves: 6 people . Preparation time: 1 hour and 15 minutes . Variety: Pasta


Campanelle are a great choice for this dish because they cradle the bits of cauliflower and sun-dried tomato, but if you can’t find them, use another shell-shape pasta. Don’t throw away the tender leaves of the cauliflower— they have as much great flavor as the florets themselves and cook in the same amount of time. Cauliflower, one of the crucifer¬ous vegetables, is an antioxidant and detoxifying, heart healthy, and important in cancer prevention. What more can we ask for?


¾ cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1 large onion, sliced (about 1½ cups)
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 small head cauliflower, cut into very small florets, tender leaves coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Kosher salt
Crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup dry white wine
1-pound campanelle
1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
½ cup freshly grated Grana Padano


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. Put the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl and add hot pasta water to cover. Let soak until soft¬ened, about 20 minutes, then drain, reserving the soaking water, and chop. (Depending on how dry your tomatoes are, you may need to add hot water halfway through the soaking time.) Measure the soaking liquid (you should have about 1 cup left over; if not, add pasta water to make 1 cup total).
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sage and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cauliflower and increase the heat to medium-high. Toss and cook until the cauliflower just begins to turn golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Make a space in the pan, add the tomato paste, and stirring in that spot, let toast and darken a shade or two, about 2 minutes. Then stir into the cauliflower mixture. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.
Add the white wine and simmer to reduce by half, about 1 or 2 minutes. Add the tomato soaking liquid and chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and let the liquid reduce. Then continue cooking until the cauliflower is caramel¬ized all over, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the campanelle to the boiling water. When the cauli¬flower is ready and the pasta is al dente, add 1 cup pasta water and the parsley to the sauce and bring to a simmer. Remove the pasta with a spi¬der or small strainer and add directly to the sauce, reserving the pasta water. Toss to coat the pasta in the sauce, adding a splash of pasta water if the pasta seems dry. Remove the skillet from the heat, sprinkle with the grated Grana Padano, toss, and serve.
Joe Bastianich