I just love food trends. I am not sure why. Maybe it's the foodie/wanna be statistician in me. But they are just plain fun. So, of course I had to find out what the top food trends were for 2013. I checked out several sources, 'cause that's what us science folks do. Food Network had Eight Top Food Trends of 2013. It sounds like they got tired and just could not get to ten. Maybe I'm a bit cynical, but I feel a little shortchanged with only eight. Epicurious.com had thirteen categories and each is divided into front burner and back burner segments. Wonder if they had more people at the table, umh!
According to one resource, kale is out. I'm all for eating kale, but kale chips? Not so sure about those. One resource had cauliflower rising to the top. Still in the cruciferous family. In 2011, sweet potatoes were the new 'in' food. While I am not sure about the accuracy of these lists, I am very happy to see vegetables making the top of the list. It feels like vegetables are finally getting their due respect.
In keeping with this 'trend thing' and my recent trip to Sicily, I'm cooking a dish with pasta and cauliflower. Americans seem to believe that pasta dishes must be drowned in sauces, especially tomato sauce. But Italian pasta dishes are so much more than pasta and sauces. Italians make very good use of vegetables.
For this dish, I am using Lidia Bastianich's book, Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy. I did adapt the recipe somewhat. I did not have fresh cavatelli pasta. I used dried campanelle pasta and cooked the pasta and cauliflower in the same water.
Pasta with Cauliflower
½ teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more for pasta pot
1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 pound dried pasta
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
7 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Fill a large pot with water and about 1 tablespoon salt. Heat to boiling.
2. Add cauliflower and cook for about 1 minute. Add pasta and continue to cook until pasta is al dente, about 5 minutes.
3. Preheat a large skillet. Pour in the olive oil. Toss in the sliced garlic. Add red pepper flakes and parsley; stir and cook for about one minute. Add about ½ cup of the pasta water. Reduce heat and simmer until ready to add the pasta.
4. Drain pasta and cauliflower. Add to skillet. Toss pasta and cauliflower until they are coated with the sauce.
5. Turn off the heat. Add the cheese and toss again. Heap the pasta into warm bowls. Sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired.