Saffron Cavatelli with Anchovy, Cauliflower and Sultana Raisins
- 2 grams saffron, toasted
- 200 grams water
- 200 grams semolina rimacinata
- 200 grams semolina flour
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 12 salt-cured anchovies, rinsed, filleted and minced
- 10 black peppercorns, coarsely ground
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- Pinch red chili flakes
- 1 small head cauliflower
- 1 cup cream
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- Kosher salt as needed
- ¼ cup Sultana raisins, plumped, recipe follows
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Bloom saffron in water headed to 120 F. Combine flours and stir in saffron water. Let stand 1 hour. Cut into cavatelli.
In a large saute pan, combine oil, garlic, anchovies, peppercorns, bay leaf and red chili flakes. Heat to 160 F and toast 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally to encourage even cooking; cool and discard bay leaf.
Remove florets from cauliflower and cut to size of a nickel; roast and set aside. Slice remainder into rings approximately ¼-inch thick and place in large saucepan. Add cream, lemon juice and enough salted water to cover. Cook until cauliflower is tender; correct seasonings and puree.
At service, cook cavatelli in salted water. Transfer to a large saute pan with enough pasta water to cover the bottom of the pan approximately ¼-inch deep. Add anchovy essence, and over medium heat, toss pasta as the water evaporates and an emulsion is formed.
Add raisins with 1 tablespoon of the raisin liquid, pine nuts and roasted cauliflower florets. Spoon 3 tablespoons cauliflower puree onto the plate. Spoon cavatelli into the middle of the cauliflower puree. Makes 4 servings.
To plump Sultana raisins, bring them to a boil with ¼ cup white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons verjus, 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons sugar. Simmer for 2 minutes, drain and reserve liquid.
Chef de Cuisine Merick Devine, Frasca, Boulder, Colorado