Spelt pasta with cauliflower and hazelnut pangrattato

Spelt pasta with cauliflower and hazelnut pangrattato

Elisa Watson

My head chef at Miss Ruben, Bancha Boonchuen, is of Thai origin but spent time working at one of Melbourne’s most iconic Italian restaurants, Caffé e Cucina. He makes the best risotto I’ve ever eaten. This is his recipe for cauliflower pasta – I served it at Rosh Hashanah lunch last year and it was the most popular dish on the table.


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon salt
1 cauliflower head, cut into small florets
150ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 garlic clove, sliced
4 anchovy fillets
1/2 long red chilli, finely sliced
500g spelt pasta bowties
25g pecorino, grated, to serve

Hazelnut pangrattato crumb

Quantity Ingredient
35g hazelnuts
55g fresh breadcrumbs


  1. Pour 4 litres water into a stockpot and add the salt. Bring to the boil and blanch the cauliflower florets for 3 minutes. Remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon. Reserve one-third of the cauliflower and the blanching water.
  2. Combine the reserved cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the blanching water and blend until smooth using a hand-held blender.
  3. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovies and fry for 1–2 minutes, until the garlic is just coloured and the anchovies have melted.
  4. Add the chilli and remaining blanched cauliflower and cook for 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft. Add the blended cauliflower and stir to mix well. Add 400 ml of the blanching water and continue stirring until the sauce emulsifies.
  5. To make the hazelnut pangrattato crumb, heat a frying pan over high heat and toast the hazelnuts for 2–3 minutes. Combine the hazelnuts and breadcrumbs in a blender and pulse to a coarse crumb.
  6. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the pasta for 6–8 minutes, until al dente. Drain, reserving 125 ml of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the saucepan.
  7. Add the cauliflower sauce and reserved pasta cooking water to the pasta. Mix well to combine and heat through again over low heat.
  8. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl, drizzle with oil and sprinkle the hazelnut pangrattato on top. Grate over some pecorino, and serve.
Jewish cooking
Chicken soup
Yom kippur
Dinner party
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