|Pasta with cauliflower, raisins and breadcrumbs!!|
"Keep it simple, stupid", a writer friend jokingly said recently.(I think she was joking...) anyway, she was right. This recipe at its core is simple, so I simply had to find someone who might remember having this, or better yet, making it. So, of course, I travel to Italy (through Twitter) to my great Italian recipe source, Francis Mayes. You might remember her as the author of "Under the Tuscan Sun" and a number of other wonderful novels and cookbooks! Francis was very helpful in my search for the "Bread Soup" recipe that I fell in love with while staying in Tuscany. She has graciously helped throughout the last few years in so many other ways as well.
|Simmering sauce with raisins!|
|Cee Jay & Beth knew how!|
|Grandmom knew how!|
This started a frenzy of phone calls and texts. "When do I do this, when do I add that?" And guess what? It is really simple to do! Took a look:
- Make favorite red sauce. (If you cheat here and purchase store bought sauce, splurge and make quality count.)
- Clean and chop medium-size head of cauliflower, par-boil in salted water. (Reserve the water!)
- Remove cauliflower pieces with slotted spoon and add to simmering sauce for about 30 minutes.
- Then, add at least 1.5 cups of raisins (or more or less to your liking) and let simmer another 20 minutes or so.
- Cook pasta in reserved cauliflower water (this suggestion came from every recipe I found from the Sicilian versions and is key for flavoring). Drain pasta and cover with sauce mixture.
- This next step is what makes this dish so flavorful. Melt 2 Tbls. of butter in frying pan, add 1 cup of bread crumbs, and brown.
- Sprinkle toasted breadcrumb over each plate of pasta.
- Add sprinkling of good quality Parmesan cheese - Locatelli is my favorite!
There is, however, something I am a little worried about. After my exhaustive search, and after excitingly remembering that my brother and sister in-law had made this for me a few years earlier, I just had to ask them where they got the recipe. They replied in unison..."you."
May be cutting back on the wine with dinner. Just saying...