Pasta e cavolo (Pasta and cauliflower Neapolitan style)

The calendar says it is spring. We moved the clocks forward, magnolias and camellias are in bloom, the days are longer and brighter and, with some luck, the sun is less reluctant to pay us a visit – well, up to a point of course, we are in the UK after all.

Visiting my local market a few days ago though, I was reminded that from a culinary point of view, we are not out of winter yet; we are still in the infamous “hungry gap”: plenty of winter vegetables (celeriac, cabbages, leeks, carrots, cauliflowers) but no new, spring crop in sight. For asparagus and globe artichokes, beans and peas, patience is needed – a few more weeks to wait.

No point in whinging: time to find new ways to use those brassicas and root vegetables. This Neapolitan pasta with cauliflower comes in handy: cauliflowers, with their pale green, tender leaves hugging their floral heads, are still plentiful and of good quality.

Continue reading “Pasta e cavolo (Pasta and cauliflower Neapolitan style)”

Cavolfiori al pomodoro alla napoletana (Cauliflower with tomatoes, from Naples)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A basic and yet rewarding dish from Naples, almost embarrassing in its simplicity. It comes from the splendid La Cucina Napoletana, the book that is considered the bible of Neapolitan cooking, written by Mrs Jeanne Carola Francesconi in 1965 – if you read Italian, you must get it.

I long resisted cooking this, as it always did sound too elementary. Can cauliflower florets cooked with tomatoes  be only few notches way from boring? Continue reading “Cavolfiori al pomodoro alla napoletana (Cauliflower with tomatoes, from Naples)”

Peperoni in agrodolce + insalata di rinforzo – sour sweet peppers and a Neapolitan cauliflower salad

I am a sucker for sottolii and sottaceto, i.e. all things (generally vegetarian ) preserved in vinegar or oil :  with a hunk of bread & some cheese  I could easily lunch on them every day.
These sour sweet peppers are amongst my favourites: quick and easy, not too sharp, excellent to eat and beautiful to look at. Continue reading “Peperoni in agrodolce + insalata di rinforzo – sour sweet peppers and a Neapolitan cauliflower salad”