Orecchiette with cauliflower and walnut brown-butter pesto
This is far from the traditional basil pesto, but it has nuts and parmesan in the mix. The name derives from the Italian word “pestare”, to pound. We’ve sped things up with a food processor. 350 gm (½ small) cauliflower,
cut into florets
2 tbsp olive oil
500 gm dried orecchiette Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½, plus lemon wedges (optional) to serve
Finely grated parmesan, to serve WALNUT BROWN-BUTTER PESTO 185 gm cold butter, diced
¼ cup (firmly packed) sage leaves
80 gm roasted walnuts
30 gm grated parmesan
1 long red chilli, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Preheat oven to 250°C.
Place cauliflower on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. Roast until golden and edges are slightly charred (8-10 minutes).
2 Meanwhile, for walnut brown-butter pesto, cook butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming and nut brown (4-5 minutes), then add sage and stir until crisp. Set aside a few leaves for garnish, then transfer sage butter to a food processor, add remaining ingredients, blitz to a coarse purée and season to taste.
3 Cook orecchiette in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente
(10-12 minutes). Drain, reserving about 80ml pasta water, and return pasta to pan. Add pesto, cauliflower, lemon rind and juice, toss to combine, adding a little pasta water to loosen, and season to taste. Top with parmesan and reserved sage leaves and serve with lemon wedges.
Orecchiette Phendai white bowl from The Design Hunter. Tara Dennis tin plate from David Jones. Chicken Studio.W Osaka bowl from David Jones. All other props stylist’s own. Sausages All props stylist’s own. Stockists p175.