Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Rigatoni with Cauliflower, Pecorino, Hot Pepper, and Bread Crumbs

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

Every night at Marco Canora's restaurant Hearth, he offers a prix fixe cucina povera menu [PDF], a simple three course meal at a bargain price of $35. Canora translates cucina povera to "humble cooking," dishes made with modest ingredients that are soul-satisfying and delicious beyond their cost.

This recipe for Rigatoni with Cauliflower, Pecorino, Hot Pepper, and Bread Crumbs from Salt to Taste is a perfect example of how inexpensive, humble ingredients can be transformed into a dish that is more than the sum of its parts.

I'm not one to get too worked up over cauliflower and pasta, but this dish changed my mind. The cauliflower is sauced with crushed tomatoes, a hearty pinch of chili flakes, parsley, and percorino, which is tossed with the pasta and then topped with toasted bread crumbs and more cheese. The finished dish comes out of the oven bubbling and toasty with just the right amount of heat. Simple, rustic, and very satisfying, this baked pasta is a wonderful way to feed a hungry group without spending an arm and a leg.

Win Salt to Taste

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Salt to Taste to give away this week.

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