If you are looking for a low-fat recipe, perhaps this isn’t the recipe for you. If you’re looking for some meatless comfort food, this is your stop.
This recipe comes from a classic cookbook that is still in my mother’s drawer, weathered, stained and torn, and with good reason. Some of my favorite childhood food comes from this classic cookbook called Moosewood. It also may have been the reason I began to like cauliflower. Because how can you not like it when it’s covered in cheese and tomato sauce?
For a few years after the internet exploded, I wondered why anybody would keep cookbooks. I mean, there are endless recipes online for free, why would somebody pay?
Considering I still love books, magazines, stationary, and agendas often more than technology, it’s surprising that I even thought that way. And now, a few years later, I understand why people pay and why I am one of them. As much as the internet is the source for so many things, nothing says comfort to me like sitting down with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and leafing through the latest food magazine that was brought down from Canada, or one of my old cookbooks in hope of finding something new I’ve never seen before. The pictures are bright, shiny, and it’s almost like I can touch the food. When you like a certain chef, you rely on their recipes, their methods, and so an entire book of their thoughts is a comfort in itself.
There’s something to be said for the printed page.
I used white cheddar and parmesan cheeses for this picture, although I grew up with my mom using the orange cheddar cheese. I also used some canned tomatoes with the puree that I had in the fridge, just gave a little more substance to the sauce.
Happy Meatless Monday to you.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cauliflower, broken into bite-sized pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp basil
- 2 cups tomato puree
- 2 TAB butter
- 2 cups mixed cheddar and parmesan cheese, grated
- 500 grams spaghetti noodles
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat 2 TABS of olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic, bay leaf, and basil. Saute about one minute and then add cauliflower and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Saute until cauliflower is tender. (You might want to add 1/2 cup water or so to steam it along). When cauliflower is fork tender, add tomato puree and lower to a simmer. Simmer for 15 or so minutes.
Cook spaghetti to al dente. Drain and toss with remaining olive oil, butter, and half the cheese. Spread onto a platter and pour the cauliflower sauce over top with freshly ground pepper and remaining cheese. Serve immediately.
Adapted from: Moosewood Cookbook