Cauliflower mushrooms have such a great shape and texture. They’re big and fluffy like a hen of the woods, but unlike a hen, they don’t keep that texture when cooked, instead they deflate a bit and end up having the texture of noodles, so when I have some cauliflowers around I love to sneak in a bowl of pasta with them.
As a basic guide, when serving pasta you want shapes that work well together, everything should roughly be the same size in the dish. For our cauliflower mushrooms, farfalle are just about as good as it gets. I made them here with some green dandelion farfalle, but your favorite brand of bow-ties, (I like this one) or just basic egg noodles, or another shape like fazzoletti or maltagliati would be fine too.
Dandelion Farfalle with Cauliflower Mushrooms and White Wine Butter Sauce
Serves 2-4 as an entrée
- 4 ounces dandelion pasta dough, cut into farfalle shapes (recipe follows)
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- Zest of ½ a lemon, microplaned
- 8 ounces cauliflower mushrooms, washed if needed, cleaned and cut into shapes the same size as your pasta
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons shallot, diced ¼ inch
- 1 cup homemade chicken stock
- ½ cup dry white wine
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- ½ cup grated Grana Padano or parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh cut chives, to garnish, optional
- Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. When the water is boiling, add the farfalle and stir to prevent sticking.
- Meanwhile, melt half of the butter in a wide 10inch saute pan, then add the mushrooms and sweat for a few minutes.
- Move the mushrooms to one side of the pan and add the shallots and garlic, then stir and continue cooking on medium heat, do not put too much color on the mixture or the garlic will burn. Season the mixture to taste with salt, then deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce until nearly dry.
- Add the chicken stock and reduce by half.
- Drain the farfalle and add to the pan along with the lemon zest and remaining butter. Swirl the pan and cook for a few minutes more to thicken the sauce, then double check the seasoning, the sauce should be slightly lemony, and thick like gravy.
- Before serving, quickly stir in half of the parmesan, then divide the pasta between heated serving bowls and serve immediately with the remaining parmesan on the side.
Dandelion Pasta Dough
Makes about 1 lb of dough, more than enough for 4 people. You’ll need to use a pasta machine.
- 2 large eggs
- Fresh dandelion greens, about 2 ounces
- 1/2 cup semolina flour
- 1 cup ap flour
- Pinch of salt
- Water, as needed
- Semolina flour to dust the work surface, as needed
- Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Blanch the dandelion greens for 30 seconds, then refresh in an ice bath and drain. Chop the blanched milkweed leaves finely, then puree on high speed in a blender with the eggs until finely pureed.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or by hand, combine the flours, salt, and egg-milkweed puree. Mix the ingredients together with a dough hook attachment until a smooth dough is formed. Allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes before rolling out.
- To roll out the pasta, cut off 1/4 of the dough at a time and roll out thinly with a rolling pin. Roll out the pasta to the thinnest setting available on the pasta machine, then cut 1/2 inch fettuccine noodles with a knife by hand or with a fettuccine attachment.
- Toss the cut fettuccine in semolina flour to prevent sticking. Freeze the pasta or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, tossing occasionally with more semolina flour if needed to prevent sticking.