Cauliflower is an underrated vegetable that, with a bit of love, can be very rewarding. Steamed and pureed to make a delicious sauce, the combination of mushrooms, cauliflower and Parmesan will convert most cauli-phobes in an instant.
- 300 g cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
- ½ brown onion, sliced
- 40 g Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra to serve
- 200 g wholemeal or spelt linguine or spaghetti
- 40 g butter
- 150 g Portobello mushrooms, cut into 2 cm slices
- 2 tbsp parsley leaves, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
- 2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Steam the cauliflower, onion and 2 cloves garlic for 15 minutes until the cauliflower is very tender. Drain, reserve liquid. Transfer to a food processor with 80ml–100ml reserved liquid and process until smooth. Season to taste. Set aside.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to packet directions, drain.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan over high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and cook, turning occasionally, for 3–4 minutes until golden and tender. Remove one quarter mushrooms and set aside. Reduce heat to low, add the cauliflower puree and parsley and adjust the seasoning, adding a little more of the reserved cooking water if the mixture looks too thick. Heat until warmed through.
Add the cooked pasta and Parmesan to the sauce and toss gently to coat. Divide between bowls and top with the reserved mushrooms, pine nuts and extra parsley.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Suresh Watson.
Gordan Ramsay Bread Street cereal bowl, from Royal Doulton.