Brassicas, especially cauliflower and broccoli, work exceptionally well together with pasta.  In this quick and easy vegetarian pasta dish, inspired from our cookbook of the week, Vegetables from an Italian Garden, cauliflower or broccoli florets are quickly blanched in boiling water, then mixed with a cheesy gorgonzola sauce.  What could be easier.  If you are using broccoli, then also use their stems, where most of the nutrition is. Experiment with other vegetables.

1 1/2 cups cauliflower or broccoli florets
1 1/2T butter
150g Gorgonzola cheese, diced
1/4 cup milk
2-3T olive oil
1 clove garlic
1T chopped thyme
300g fresh pappardelle
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

  1. Parboil the cauliflower in salted, boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain, reserving the cooking water.
  2. Melt the butter with the gorgonzola in a small pan over very low heat, stirring continuously and adding a few tablespoons of milk if necessary. Do not let the mixture boil. Remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Heat the oil in a shallow pan. Add the garlic clove and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for a few minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the garlic and discard. Add the cauliflower to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the thyme and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook the pappardelle in the reserved cooking water, adding more boiling water if necessary, for 2-3 minutes, until al dente. Drain, turn into the pan with the cauliflower, and stir. Stir in the gorgonzola mixture, remove from the heat, and serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

See more recipes from this book.

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