This recipe comes from my mom and my sister. Being Italian, every year we used to create a new vegetable pasta dish tasty, healthy, and quick & easy to prepare for the every-day lunch or dinner. This is the one from 2008 winter.
Orecchiette could be substituted by any kind of short shaped pasta. "Taggiasca" olives would be best but "kalamata" or other similar small black olives will be perfect, as well. "Pachino" cherry tomatoes could be substituted by deseeded diced ripe tomatoes.
You could also sprinkle with grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino cheeses right before serving.
1 pound orecchiette
1/2 large cauliflower
1 1/2 cups Taggiasca stoned olives
1/2 pound Cherry tomatoes
1 small shallot
4 tablespoons EVOO + additional for seasonning
Step 1Rinse well the cauliflower, remove the leaves, and grate half of it using the biggest holes side of your grater. Rinse the tomatoes and cut 1/4Lb of them in half. With a pairing knife slit the skin of the remaining 1/4Lb with a cross.
Step 2While bringing to boil a big covered pot of salty water, mince finely the shallot and saute' it in a large skillet with the EVOO until transparent (the skillet should be large enough to contain also the cooked past at the end).
Step 3Put the cauliflower into the skillet, add a pinch of salt, and cook it over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes and olives and cook for another 8-10 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft but still firm. If it dries too much, add a little boiling water to the skillet. Adjust with salt, season with pepper, and set covered while the pasta is finishing cooking.
Step 4While cauliflower is cooking, cook the pasta and strain it al dente. Put it into the skillet and saute' it for 1 minute adding a little EVOO. Serve immediately.