Sicilian-Style Bucatini with Caesar-Style Salad &  Oven-Toasted Croutons

Sicilian-Style Bucatini

with Caesar-Style Salad & Oven-Toasted Croutons

45 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight’s dish is a delicious example of classic Sicilian ingredients and technique. We’re cooking cauliflower in tomato paste—a traditional way of preparing vegetables—and turning it into a rich, velvety base for our sauce. (Chefs, your cauliflower may be white, orange, purple or green—all equally tasty varieties!) The trio of sweet dried currants, tangy vinegar and briny capers in our sauce results in the balance of sweet and sour known as “agrodolce.” A crisp, garlicky salad tossed with Caesar-inspired dressing lends a refreshing textural contrast to the dish.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    590 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing:
1 Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Large dice the baguette. Cut out and discard the cauliflower core; cut the head into bite-sized pieces. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stems. Cut off and discard the root end of the romaine; roughly chop the leaves. Peel the garlic; finely chop 3 of the cloves. Finely chop the remaining clove and smash with the side of your knife until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). In a bowl, combine the crème fraîche, half the cheese, ¾ of the vinegar, as much of the garlic paste as you’d like and 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the croutons:
2 Make the croutons:

Place the baguette on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in a single, even layer. Toast in the oven 7 to 9 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Remove from the oven.

Cook the cauliflower:
3 Cook the cauliflower:

While the baguette toasts, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the cauliflower and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the remaining vinegar and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the vinegar has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the sauce:
4 Make the sauce:

To the pan, add the currants, capers, tomato paste and chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the tomato paste is dark red and fragrant. Add 1 cup of water (be careful, as the water may splatter); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened and saucy. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook & finish the pasta:
5 Cook & finish the pasta:

While the sauce cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 7 to 9 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly. To the pan of sauce, add the cooked pasta, butter, all but a pinch of the parsley and half the reserved cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is thoroughly coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.

Make the salad & serve your dish:
6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

In a large bowl, combine the romaine and croutons; season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the dressing to coat the salad (you may have extra dressing). Toss to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish the finished pasta with the remaining cheese and remaining parsley. Serve with the salad on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients & make the dressing:

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Large dice the baguette. Cut out and discard the cauliflower core; cut the head into bite-sized pieces. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stems. Cut off and discard the root end of the romaine; roughly chop the leaves. Peel the garlic; finely chop 3 of the cloves. Finely chop the remaining clove and smash with the side of your knife until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). In a bowl, combine the crème fraîche, half the cheese, ¾ of the vinegar, as much of the garlic paste as you’d like and 1 tablespoon of olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste.

2 Make the croutons:

Place the baguette on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in a single, even layer. Toast in the oven 7 to 9 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Remove from the oven.

Make the croutons:
Cook the cauliflower:
3 Cook the cauliflower:

While the baguette toasts, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the cauliflower and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the remaining vinegar and cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the vinegar has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Make the sauce:

To the pan, add the currants, capers, tomato paste and chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the tomato paste is dark red and fragrant. Add 1 cup of water (be careful, as the water may splatter); season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until thickened and saucy. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the sauce:
5 Cook & finish the pasta:

While the sauce cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 7 to 9 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly. To the pan of sauce, add the cooked pasta, butter, all but a pinch of the parsley and half the reserved cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is thoroughly coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish.

6 Make the salad & serve your dish:

In a large bowl, combine the romaine and croutons; season with salt and pepper. Add enough of the dressing to coat the salad (you may have extra dressing). Toss to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish the finished pasta with the remaining cheese and remaining parsley. Serve with the salad on the side. Enjoy!

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