Serious Eats: Recipes
Dinner Tonight: Pasta with Smothered Cauliflower and Saffron
In Chicago at least, local cauliflower has arrived, and it's one of my favorite vegetables of all time. For me, cauliflower is all potential: what is the whitest, blandest option on the crudite platter becomes deep and nutty when it's cooked with plenty of heat.
In the best cauliflower pasta recipes, anchovies make an appearance, usually early on so they melt and disappear into the sauce, leaving only a nutty essence behind. This recipe from Lidia's Italy also brings in the classic Italian combination of pine nuts and raisins, along with the mellow, unmistakable flavor of saffron. The key is to let the saffron-infused liquid evaporate from the pan and continue cooking everything to develop as much flavor as possible.