Campanelle with Cauliflower, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, and Grana Padano
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, feel free to use another shell-shaped pasta. This dish is perfect for the winter because it provides hearty, seasonal veggies, but with a taste of summer from the sun-dried tomatoes. Grana Padano adds the perfect finishing touch.
- ¾ cup sun-dried tomatoes (not oil packed)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced (about 1 ½ cups)
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1 small head cauliflower and tender green leaves, cut into small florets (about 6 cups)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 pound campanelle
- 1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
- ½ cup Grana Padano PDO, freshly grated
- 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 softened, about 20 minutes, then drain, reserving the soaking water, and chop. (Depending on how dry your tomatoes are, you may need to add more 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 that spot, let tomato paste toast and darken a shade or two, about 2 minutes. Then stir with 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 caramelized all over, about 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the campanelle to the boiling water. When the cauliflower is ready and the pasta is al dente (see package for recommended cooking time), add 1 cup pasta water and the parsley to the sauce and bring to a simmer.
- Remove the pasta from the water with a spider or small strainer, and add directly to the sauce, reserving the rest of 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.
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