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Whole wheat linguine with cauliflower, pancetta, and parmesan shavings

Makes 4 servings


    1 cup coarse bread crumbs (from 2 slices firm sandwhich bread) 
    1/4 teaspoon salt                                              
    1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil               
    1 large head (2 1/2 lb) cauliflower cut into 1-inch wide florets (8 cups)
    1/4 pound sliced pancetta,chopped (1 cup)                      
    4 cloves garlic,finely chopped                                 
    1/4 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes                           
    1 1/2 cups chicken broth                                       
    3/4 pound dried whole-wheat linquini noodles                   
    1/2 ounce grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (1/4 cup) plus additional for serving
    1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped                       

Stir together bread crumbs, salt, and 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl until combined well.  Transfer to a 12-inch heavy skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until crisp and golden, 3-5 minutes, then return to bowl.  Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in a skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute cauliflower, stirring occasionally, until browned well, about 8 minutes.  Add pancetta and saute, stirring frequently, until just beginning to crisp, 2-3 minutes.  Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and saute, stirring, 1 minute.  Add broth, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and sauce is slightly reduced, about 7 minutes.  While sauce simmers, cook linguine in a 6- to 8- quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until al dente, then drain in a colander. Stir cheese into sauce and simmer 1 minute.  Toss pasta with cauliflower mixture and parsley in a large bowl, then sprinkle with bread crumbs. Serve with additional cheese.

Gourmet, December 2005

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