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Aired December 05, 2014

Cacio e Pepe Bucatini with Roasted Cauliflower

serves 4-6


    1 cup white wine
    1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
    1/4 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus additional for drizzling
    1 tablespoon kosher salt
    Juice of 1 lemon
    3 tablespoons butter
    1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
    2 fresh bay leaves
    1 medium head cauliflower, leaves removed and the stem cut out
    Freshly grated nutmeg
    1 pound dried bucatini or spaghetti or 12 ounces fresh egg tagliatelle
    6 tablespoons butter, divided
    2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
    1 rounded tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
    1 3/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano


Preheat oven to 475°F.

In a Dutch oven, add wine, stock, 1/4 cup EVOO, salt, lemon juice, butter, chili flakes and bay leaves in a pot, and bring to a boil. Add the whole cauliflower and partially cover; reduce heat a bit and cook 15 minutes to soften. Remove the cauliflower with a spider or 2 spatulas to a rimmed baking sheet. Place cauliflower in center rack of oven and roast for about 30 minutes until deeply golden in color. Drizzle with more EVOO and season with flaky sea salt.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water, add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup starchy cooking water; drain.

In a large skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and black pepper, and swirl for 1 minute. Add the reserved cup pasta water; simmer. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and the pasta; remove from the heat. Toss, adding the cheese a few handfuls at a time, until a sauce forms and coats the pasta evenly. Add the roasted cauliflower and season to taste. Serve in shallow bowls.