Pasta with Cauliflower, Bacon, and Bread Crumbs for Two
From Cook's Illustrated | March/April 2014
Why this recipe works:
Pasta, nutty cauliflower, meaty bacon and crispy bread crumbs are a wonderful combination when the flavors and textures are all balanced. We brown our cauliflower in a skillet to develop its flavors and drive off some of the water to keep it from becoming mushy. By employing a risotto method… read more
Pasta, nutty cauliflower, meaty bacon and crispy bread crumbs are a wonderful combination when the flavors and textures are all balanced. We brown our cauliflower in a skillet to develop its flavors and drive off some of the water to keep it from becoming mushy. By employing a risotto method and cooking our pasta in a small amount of water, we skip the draining step and make a creamy sauce for this dish as the pasta cooks. Finally, we top our pasta with bacon-flavored bread crumbs to add texture and another layer of flavor.less
Pasta with Cauliflower, Bacon, and Bread CrumbsHow to make this restaurant favorite at home? Crowd the pan and consolidate pots.
Farfalle, orecchiette, or gemelli can be substituted for the campanelle. If the pasta seems too dry, stir in up to 2 tablespoons of hot water.
- 1 slice bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 head cauliflower (1 pound), cored and cut into 1-inch florets
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 8 ounces (2 1/2 cups) campanelle
- 2 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
1. Cook bacon in 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat until crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Add panko and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until panko is well browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer panko mixture to bowl and wipe out skillet.
2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add cauliflower and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is crisp-tender and browned in spots, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
3. Heat remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Increase heat to high, add pasta, broth, and wine, and bring to simmer. Cook pasta, stirring frequently, until most of liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Remove pan from heat; stir in parsley, lemon juice, and cauliflower; and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve, passing panko mixture and lemon wedges separately.