Pappardelle with Cauliflower Purée and Peas
Pappardelle with Cauliflower Purée, Crispy Cauliflower and Peas
This dish is possibly the ideal transitioning season meal. Wintery cauliflower is livened up with fresh peas and shoots, and it’s creamy yet somehow not overwhelmingly rich. The pappardelle works well with this because its wide strands catch all of the sauce perfectly.
Difficulty: a little effort
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 1 hour
500 g flour
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
4 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
extra flour, for dusting
2 Tbso (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil + plus extra for frying
1 onion, finely chopped
salt and black pepper
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
750 g cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets (reserve half of the florets for frying)
2 C (500 ml) cream
1 ½ C (roughly 250 g) green peas (fresh is best, but frozen will work nicely too)
pea shoots, washed and trimmed
Tip the flour and salt out onto a clean work surface, make a well in the centre and add the eggs, egg yolks and olive oil. Slowly, using a fork, work the flour into the eggs to make a sticky dough. Dust your hands with flour and begin to knead the dough. You may think your dough is too dry or wet, but don’t doctor it until you’ve begun to knead, it will come together after a little bit of elbow grease. Keep kneading until the dough is completely smooth, then wrap in cling film and leave to rest out of the fridge for at least half an hour.
Once the pasta has rested, set up the pasta machine. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the remaining portions covered. Feed one piece through the machine, on the largest setting, and fold in half when it comes out the other end. Work your way down to the thinner settings, folding the pasta in half before each roll, to laminate and reinforce it. When it begins to get too long, trim the pieces to no longer than 30 cm. When the pasta has gone through the smallest setting, dust each sheet well with flour, fold over twice and cut into about 2.5 cm strips. Unravel the pappardelle and hang on a washing line (or even door handles all over your kitchen, if needs be) to dry for a bit while you get on with the rest of the dish.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and season. Cook until the onion softens slightly and then add the garlic. Cook for a further 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower stalks plus about half of the florets to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine evenly with the onion and garlic. Leave to cook for another few minutes, stirring every so often. Add the cream and lower the heat to a simmer, allowing the cauliflower to cook gently. Once the cauliflower is completely soft, strain, reserving the cooking liquid. Transfer the cauliflower mix to a blender and blend to a smooth purée, adding a little of the reserved cooking liquid, as required. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Fill a small saucepan with water and bring the boil. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Blanch the peas for about a minute. Refresh in the cold water and set aside. If using frozen peas, blanch for about 30 seconds.
In a frying pan, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan generously. Place over a medium-high heat, and shallow fry the remaining cauliflower florets in batches, to ensure that each piece is evenly crispy and golden. Drain on paper towel to remove excess oil and season with salt. Repeat with the rest of the florets.
To cook the pasta, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Salt the water generously and add a blob of olive oil. Once boiling, add the pasta and gently cook for 1-2 minutes, or until al dente (cooked with just a little bite). Once cooked, drain in a colander. If you’re not serving the pasta straight away, toss with a little olive oil.
In a small bowl, lightly dress the pea shoots in a little olive oil and season.
Toss the cooked pasta, peas and cauliflower purée together and divide between 4 bowls (or plate up in 1 large serving dish). Dot the fried cauliflower florets around the dish, sprinkle the pine nuts and the lemon zest over the dish. Grate over a generous amount of Parmesan and scatter the pea shoots over the top. Finish with 1 last generous grind of black pepper and a minuscule drizzle of truffle oil, if using.