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Cauliflower Bolognese with Spicy Breadcrumbs

Cook Time:
40 mins
Prep Time:
15 mins
Servings:
4-6
RATE THIS RECIPE
(228)

Chef notes

It’s a lighter version of everyone’s favorite meat sauce! Onions, carrots, and cauliflower get a blitz in the food processor and are cooked down alongside tomato paste, butter, nutmeg, garlic and anchovies. Panko breadcrumbs are toasted in olive oil and Calabrian chili paste. Pasta is cooked, tossed in the sauce, and topped with breadcrumbs and fresh herbs for a hearty dish that will surprise you when you say “I don’t even miss the meat!"

Get Ingredients: If you don’t have everything you need on hand, you can easily purchase all of the ingredients (just click the orange button below that says ‘Get Ingredients’). You can pick and choose exactly what ingredients you need based on what’s in your pantry and they’ll be on your doorstep before you know it.

Special Kitchen Equipment Required: Food processor

Technique Tip:?To quickly grate a lot of fresh Parmesan cheese, cut the Parm into chunks and grind in a food processor.?Make sure your butter is cold so it properly emulsifies into the sauce.

Swap Option:?You may use 3 medium-shallots instead of 1 white onion.?Pecorino cheese pay be used instead of Parmesan. Fresh parsley may be used instead of basil. For a vegetarian dish, omit the anchovies and substitute?a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce or 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon Calabrian chili paste or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 1 lb), torn into florets
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 5-6 oil-packed anchovies, drained (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons double concentrated tomato paste
  • 1 pound dried bucatini or spaghetti
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
Fulfilled by

Preparation

1.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

2.

Add 1/4 cup olive oil and chili paste or flakes to a large, heavy-bottomed skillet set over medium heat. Once hot, add breadcrumbs, season with salt to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.

3.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse carrots until finely chopped. Transfer to bowl and rinse and wipe out the food-processor bowl. Add the onion and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a separate bowl and wipe out the food-processor bowl. Working in batches, pulse the cauliflower in the food processor until it is riced. Transfer to a separate medium bowl. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.

4.

Wipe out the skillet and add 1/4 cup olive oil and 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, 10 to 12 minutes. Add in garlic, anchovies, and nutmeg and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the anchovies have melted into the mixture. Add in the tomato paste, and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste has darkened in color, 3 to 4 minutes.

5.

Add in the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower starts to break down, caramelize, and hug the bottom of the pan. Adjust seasoning to taste and reduce the heat to low.

6.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta 1 minute shy of the package instructions. Reserve 1? cups pasta water and drain. Add the pasta to the pot along with zest of 1 lemon, reserved butter and 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water. Toss to combine, slowly adding in 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Alternate between pasta water and cheese until the pasta is coated and the sauce looks glossy. Add more salt to taste. Squeeze lemon over the pasta and toss one more time.

7.

Divide the pasta among serving bowls and top with spicy breadcrumbs, basil, remaining Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

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