Cauliflower and cheese sauce is a classic pairing for good reason. Add pasta and hazelnuts, and you’ve got a hearty dish with texture to boot.
Cauliflower and hazelnut strozzapreti with Gorgonzola
Cauliflower and cheese sauce is a classic pairing for good reason, and it only gets better when pasta is added to the mix. We’ve opted for a crumble of piquant Gorgonzola throughout, too .
Prep time 20 mins, cook 45 mins
2 tbsp olive oil
300 gm (about ½ head) cauliflower, cut into
florets and thinly sliced
400 gm dried strozzapreti or other short pasta 40 gm butter, diced
40 gm plain flour
600 ml pouring cream
300 ml milk
120 gm pecorino, finely grated, plus extra
3 tsp coarsely chopped thyme, plus extra to serve
Pinch of finely grated nutmeg
60 gm Gorgonzola piccante, crumbled,
plus extra to serve
40 gm coarsely chopped roasted hazelnuts
1 Preheat oven to 180C. Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat and fry cauliflower in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, adding a little extra oil to pan between batches if necessary (4-5 minutes).
2 Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of well-salted boiling water until not quite al dente (6-7 minutes). Drain and return to pan with 2 tbsp cooking water.
3 Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add flour and stir until sandy. Bring cream and milk just to a simmer in a separate saucepan, then, whisking continuously, gradually add to flour mixture and whisk until smooth and thickened. Season to taste. Whisk in pecorino, thyme and nutmeg, add to pasta along with cauliflower and Gorgonzola and fold to combine. Transfer to an oiled 3-litre baking dish, scatter with hazelnuts and extra pecorino, and bake until bubbling and golden brown (25-30 minutes). Scatter with extra thyme and Gorgonzola, and serve hot.
Wine suggestion Top-quality chardonnay.
Fusilli with greens, fennel and feta
All the wonderful flavours of spanakopita make their way into this punchy baked pasta.
Prep time 20 mins, cook 40 mins
Serves 4-6 (pictured p102)
400 gm dried fusilli
70 ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, diced, fronds reserved
400 gm silverbeet (about 1 small bunch), half the stalks and leaves thinly sliced separately
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bunch spinach, trimmed and thinly sliced Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon, plus extra wedges, to serve
150 gm kefalograviera (see note), coarsely grated
120 gm crumbled feta
½ cup coarsely chopped mint
½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley ½ cup coarsely chopped dill
¼ tsp dried mint
4 sheets filo pastry
Sesame seeds, for scattering
20 gm melted butter
1 Preheat oven to 180C and lightly oil four 15cm-diameter baking dishes (or a large baking dish if you prefer). Cook pasta in a large saucepan of well-salted boiling water until not quite al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain, reserving 2 tbsp cooking water, and return both to pan.
2 Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add spring onion, fennel and silverbeet stalks, and sauté until tender
(4-5 minutes). Add garlic and stir until fragrant, then add silverbeet leaves and spinach, and sauté until just wilted (2-3 minutes). Stir in lemon rind and juice, season to taste, then add to pasta along with cheeses and herbs. Toss to combine, season to taste and divide among baking dishes.
3 Roll filo sheets together into a cylinder and slice into 1cm strips. Toss in a bowl to unravel, scatter with sesame seeds, drizzle with butter and remaining oil, and toss to coat. Scatter on top of pasta and bake until filling is bubbling and pastry is golden (25-30 minutes). Scatter with fennel fronds and serve hot with lemon wedges.
Note Kefalograviera, a hard cheese made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep and goat’s milk, is available from select delicatessens. If it’s unavailable, substitute pecorino.
Wine suggestion Bone-dry Greek assyrtiko.>
CAULIFLOWER STROZZAPRETI Bowl from Country Road. All other props stylist’s own. Stockists p175.