Substitute whichever pasta variety you like — or even couscous — in this easy, high-flavor dish from Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough’s new cookbook, “Ham.” Roasting the garlic and cauliflower gives both deep, rich flavors.
ORECCHIETTE WITH SAGE,
GARLIC, CAULIFLOWER AND
Start to finish: 1 hour
1 head garlic, broken into its cloves without peeling them
3 1/2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, diced
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
12 ounces orecchiette pasta, cooked and drained according to the package instructions
2 tablespoons dry white wine or dry vermouth, maybe a little more
2 to 3 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the oven to 425 F.
Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and roast for 20 minutes.
Toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil, then add them to the baking dish. Toss well. Continue roasting, stirring occasionally, until the florets are lightly browned and the garlic cloves are soft, about 20 minutes more.
Transfer the baking dish and its vegetables to a wire rack and cool for a few minutes, just until you can handle the garlic cloves. Squeeze the soft garlic pulp out of the papery hulls and back into the baking dish.
Stir in the diced prosciutto and the minced sage.
Return the pan back to the oven and continue roasting just until the prosciutto begins to sizzle, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the baking dish back to the wire rack and stir in the cooked pasta, wine and cheese until the cheese melts.
If the mixture is a little dry, you can add a splash or two more of the wine, just to make sure everything is moist but not soupy.