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Playing Pasta with Giardiniera Sauce


  • About 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, finely diced
  • 3 to 4 small ribs celery from heart, finely diced
  • 1 bulb fennel, cored and chopped into small dice
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 2 small red chili peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • About 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • About 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 pound tagliatelle or other wide egg pasta
  • About 2 cups small cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Pecorino cheese, for serving


Serves: 4


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat a skillet with olive oil, 4 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery, fennel, bay leaf, chilies, garlic, bell pepper and onions. Season with salt, pepper and thyme, and cook to tender, 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently.

Deglaze the pan with about 3 tablespoons vinegar 3 fat splashes. Lean your head away from the pan or youll be sure to clean out your sinuses!

Add the stock to the vegetables and reduce heat to a simmer.

When the water boils, add salt and cook pasta to al dente, adding the cauliflower about 2 minutes after you drop your pasta. Add a cup of starchy cooking liquid to the sauce just before draining pasta.

Add pasta and parsley to the sauce and remove from heat. Toss to combine, adjust salt and pepper, and remove bay leaf. Toss in cheese to your taste or pass at table.