I used to live in Philadelphia and while I absolutely adore Boston, I often times find myself missing Philly and the life that I had there. Because the life that I had there consisted of me constantly wining and dining myself. I spent more money than I’m willing to admit on the incredible restaurant scene. I finally had to grow up, face the music and realize I did NOT have this type of disposable income – which is one of the many reasons I cook more now!
One of the chefs that I loved in Philadelphia was Marc Vetri. While I couldn’t even entertain the idea of dining at his signature restaurant “Vetri” (one of the most expensive in the city), I did spend my 25thbirthday at one of this other restaurants called Amis. I still think about the meal that I had that night to this day. So I was delighted when I stumbled across one of his pasta recipes in Food & Wine Magazine. The dish is Bucatini with Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts and it has become a staple in our house. I recently served it to my sister and brother-in-law and although my brother-in-law doesn’t typically eat brussels sprouts (there are few people in this world that do), he seemed to really enjoy this one! As I do with all of my recipes, I tweaked this to my liking. Enjoy!
- 12 ounces bucatini
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound cauliflower florets, cut in 1-inch piece
- 1/2 pound brussels sprouts, halved or quartered if large
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
- Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil. Add the cauliflower and brussels sprouts and season with salt and black pepper; cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add 1/4 cup of oil to the skillet along with the onion, garlic, crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, until the onion is slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Cover and cook over low heat until the cauliflower and sprouts are tender.
- In a small skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the bread crumbs and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly or they will burn, until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and transfer to a bowl.
- Add the pasta and reserved cooking water to the vegetables and cook over moderate heat, tossing, until the water is nearly absorbed. Remove from the heat and stir in the 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Top with bread crumbs.
Makes 4 servings.