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RECIPE: Tobie Puttock’s Orecchiette with Cauliflower and Black Pepper Pangrattato

Orecchiette with Cauliflower and Black Pepper Pangrattato

Serves: 4


  • ? small onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Tablespoon of freshly picked thyme
  • 1 medium sized head of cauliflower around 500g in weight
  • Around 100g of ciabatta bread, preferable a day old
  • 4 tablespoons of cr?me fraiche
  • 1 handful of picked flat leaf parsley, washed and roughly chopped
  • 100g pecorino cheese, freshly grated
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 300g orecchiette


Use a small sharp knife to remove the core from the cauliflower and then remove about four small handfuls of the florets, the florets should be no bigger than a ten-cent piece in size. Roughly chop the remaining florets and stalk and set aside.

Drizzle two tablespoons of olive into a small/medium pot and gently saut? the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes before adding the bay leaf, thyme and the cauliflower stalk and florets (keeping the four handfuls reserved florets aside). After a further two minutes add enough water or vegetable stock to cover the ingredients.  Bring to the boil and reduce to a gentle simmer until the cauliflower is soft, about 20 minutes. Place this mixture into a food processor and blitz to a puree and season to taste with salt and pepper

While the cauliflower is cooking break the bread into a food processor and pulse until you have a coarse consistency while maintaining texture. Place the crumbs onto a baking tray and pop into a pre-heated oven on 180 and toast until golden in colour, about five minutes. Once browned add a generous amount of black pepper to the crumbs while cooling.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the bowl and add the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking place 800ml of the cauliflower puree into a pan large enough to hold all pasta, add the cr?me fraiche and heat gently over a low/medium heat.

After the pasta has been cooking for about five minutes add the reserved florets to the pasta water with the pasta. Once the pasta is al dente drain out the water and add the pasta and florets to the pan with the puree. Stir the pasta through the sauce and season to taste. Add half of the pecorino cheese and the chopped parsley, season to taste and stir to combine.

Serve immediately with a generous amount of the pangratatto over the top along with the remaining grated pecorino and finally finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.