Monday being Monday always leaves me in a state of anxiety. If you master Monday, the rest of the week falls into place, but if Monday sends you in a tail spin, what will it do to the rest of your week? Well, I guess, The Bangles did give me a melodious heads-up on it. And yes! I do wish it was Sunday.
This past Monday was a little different. In addition to being overwhelmed, I was perpetually hungry. Well it was lunch time and there I was again, rummaging through shelves and cabinets again. I certainly didn’t have time to create a gourmet affair, but then a sandwich wouldn’t cut it either. What were my choices? There was some wilting pea shoots, left over tomatoes that were slushy from last night’s vinaigrette and a handful of lonely cauliflower florets.
I set water aside to boil for some Kamut pasta elbows (only 8 minutes), threw down another pan with a touch of oil, garlic and fennel seeds, pan roasted my cauliflower (4 minutes). I then added my limp tomatoes and cooked them for 2 minutes, cleared away the kitchen taking another 2 minutes and presto, the pasta was boiled and ready to make its introduction to the dish. I added my final touches of chili and pea shoots and took 10 minutes to enjoy my lunch peacefully.
My hotchpotch pasta was pretty topnotch. But when I really broke it down, it should have been. Pan roasting the cauliflower gave it a lovely a mellow and caramelized flavor, the left over salad tomatoes shared an intensity that one experiences with sundried tomatoes, and the light wilting of the pea shoots triggered by the heat of the dish beneath it made the texture both crunchy and soft.
500 grams of any pasta (good time to consolidate all the leftover pasta in various boxes)
2 clove of garlic
Half a cauliflower head broken in to small florets (or any other vegetable in need of resurrection)
2 tomatoes sliced in to thin pieces and left to soak in 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
Generous handful of and leafy greens/ herbs (basil, mesclun, pea shoots, chives, arugula)
1) Boil the pasta, set aside, reserving ¼ cup of the starchy water
2) Sweat the garlic in the oil in a wide pan
3) Crank the heat up to ‘high’. add salt, pepper and cauliflower. Sauté the cauliflower until it is nice and golden (do it in batches to avoid over-crowding)
4) Add the tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes to soften them and allow them to release some of their juices
5) Add the pasta to the pan with the starchy water and cook for another 2 minutes
6) Serve the dish with a heap of greens piled over the top
7) Sprinkle with chili flakes