Anchovies and cauliflower are a classic Italian pairing; the anchovies instill a deep, savory (not fishy) flavor that’s made even better here with the addition of garlic, fresh rosemary, and red pepper flakes. All that, plus a little cured pork, guarantees excitement in every bite.
Often in recipes such as this, we reduce the pasta by 50%, so here we used only 8 ounces as opposed to 12. In addition, we increased the prosciutto by 50%, incorporated orange cauliflower for a pop of color, and added extra red pepper flakes. Then for an extra boost of flavor we used homemade chicken stock instead of boxed or canned, and threw in some extra grated cheese.
The end result was really good. The only other change we’d make is next time we’ll crisp the prosciutto before adding the cauliflower to lessen the chance of it clumping and infuse some of the taste into the veggie. I noted this step into the directions below.
Linguine with Cauliflower and Prosciutto
- Kosher salt
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small head cauliflower (about 1-1/2 lb.), cut into 1-1/2-inch florets and halved lengthwise
- 12 oz. linguine
- 6 anchovy fillets, rinsed well, patted dry, and finely chopped (about 1 Tbs.)
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 2/3 cup lower-salt chicken broth
- 6 thin slices prosciutto or speck, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
- 1/2 oz. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs. of the butter and 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes; remove from pan to a side dish.
- Add half of the cauliflower, flat side down in a single layer, and season lightly with salt. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 2 minutes.
- Flip and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining cauliflower, 1 Tbs. butter, and 1 Tbs. oil; set aside.
- Boil the pasta according to package directions until al dente.
- Meanwhile, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the anchovies, rosemary, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is softened, about 2 minutes.
- Add the broth, and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the skillet along with the cooked prosciutto, half of the cheese, and the remaining 1 Tbs. butter; toss until the butter is melted.
- Add the cauliflower, toss to combine, and season to taste with salt. Add some pasta water to loosen the sauce, if necessary.
- Serve topped with the remaining cheese and the parsley.
Recipe adapted from one by Arlene Jacobs of Fine Cooking