Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Dining with the Bloggers - April 27th

This dish does NOT taste of anchovies.

Just thought I'd get that out of the way. So - this week, Cathy and I am focusing on pasta. That versatile backdrop for sauces rich or light, chunky or smooth. You can have it fresh, or you can have it dried. While I at first thought this a golden opportunity to actually try using the pasta machine I got this Christmas, time ran away from me, and heck, on a daily basis, I guess most of us need recipes for dressing up the dried kind, rather than the fresh kind. The fresh is sort of a feast in itself anyways, stuffed it with goodies or as smooth, silky strands of home made tagliatelle or the likes.

This dish does NOT taste of anchovies.

And what better to try than Debbie of Words to Eat By's Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Figs & Mint. I was so intrigued by the combination of sweet figs and savory (admittedly, tiny bit of) anchovy paste, and the ahem - somewhat "windy" smelling cauliflower - if you know what I mean?;-) - that I had to try it.

This dish does NOT taste of anchovies.

The cauliflower smelled magnificent when it came out of the oven - I roasted it for a little less time than Debbie stated, but my oven was on a bit higher heat, so that makes sense. The rosemary and chili goes great with it, and I'm sure I'll use this method for other purposes too, in a salad for example.

The rest is simple and easy - fry garlic, anchovy paste, figs that has been soaked, mint - add cooked pasta, et presto! Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Figs and Mint. Mmmmm - 'twas yummy. Boyfriend added a couple of slices of protein (fried bacon) and the smokiness with the figs wasn't off the mark, but the dish was as perfect as could be without it too. Next time, I'll take Debbie's advise of adding the soaking liquid and pasta-water in note, to make more of a sauce in the dish. I'm actually thinking that if it's left dry-ish, it might work wonders as a cold pasta salad...

And really, you can't taste the anchovies. I'm pretty sure I cut even add a tad more and get away with it.

Cathy's leaving for Sicily (that lucky girl!) but has cooked up TWO pasta dishes before leaving - BRAVA!

1 comment:

ejm said...

Isn't that amazing about anchovies? If they are cooked initially in the garlic til they disappear, they just add a wonderful flavour to the whole dish. (The only thing I've had with anchovy is caesar salad and pasta puttanesca.)

We've never used anchovy paste but just put a couple of whole anchovies (preserved in oil) in with sauteeing garlic and mash the anchovies til they disappear from view.

I like the idea of the cauliflower and figs... now if we could only find a source of inexpensive figs!

And you've GOT to use your pasta machine. Dried pasta is great but freshly made with a handcrank machine really is the best tasting pasta!