There is a legit NYT pasta recipe called “Bad Day Pasta” by the charming Alison Roman. Watch the 10 minute video and I’m sure you’ll be ready for a bad day too. My favorite line, “these red pepper flakes are from Italy, is that annoying?” Naw, girl you’re good. Just a little jealous over here.
So, was it fateful that last Thursday I was having a really terrible day and that I would run into this recipe online? I thought so too. Of course I made it. On Friday, in a much better mood…but…details……
Anyway, it starts off all mis en place of seasoning and such, so here you are. I added onion and garlic to the mix because I could, Alison said so.
Next up, chop the cauliflower like thin steaks! Who knew? Watch the video and see a real chef do just this. Note: dirt. I scrubbbbbed this cauliflower really well. I swear this was it’s natural color. Whatever, tasted great.
Then, you saute everything for a while. It’s real beige.
Finally, I added all of the fresh chives from my freezer, lemon zest, and way too many red pepper flakes because cooking while drinking is a hazard.
The finished product isn’t too saucy or too pasta-y. The ratio is of cauliflower to pasta is quite nice and basically makes this…healthy? Naw.
To really turn the bad day around, you top the whole shebang with these brilliant pecorino breadcrumbs that you make first thing so you can snack on them while you’re cooking…. or set aside.
This recipe was fannnnntastic. While I don’t wish a really bad day on anyone, this will be a fun special meal to put into the winter rotation.
NYT Bad Day Pasta
- 8 ounces of rigatoni
- 6 T. olive oil
- Kosher salt & pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 3/4 c. fresh breadcrumbs (stale or frozen bread, thawed), or more for snacking
- 1/2 c. pecorino cheese
- 1 large shallot, chopped finely
- 1/2 white onion, chopped finely,
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 head of cauliflower, sliced into 1/2″ “steaks” with the really stalky bits removed
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 1 T. lemon zest
- 1/2 c. chopped chives
- 1 T. (more or less) of red pepper flakes to your taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Cook pasta until it is al dente. Set aside and reserve 1 c. of pasta water.
- While pasta is cooking make breadcrumbs. Heat 3 T. oil in large skillet over medium heat
- Food process stale bread and cloves of peeled garlic into crumbs.
- Add bread and garlic crumbs into hot oil and saute until golden, about 5 minutes.
- Add 1/4 c. pecorino cheese and coat bread crumbs. Remove mixture into bowl.
- Wipe skillet and return to heat. Add another 3 T. of olive oil to medium heat.
- Add shallot, garlic, onion, and cauliflower to skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 15-20 minutes until the mixture caramelizes.
- Add heavy cream, lemon zest and turn down to a simmer, allowing the cream to reduce, about 4 minutes.
- Add cooked pasta to mixture a well as 1/4 c. pecorino and 3/4 c. of pasta water. Cook another 5 minutes until mixture is thick and glossy.
- Season with chives, salt, pepper, and red pepper as desired.
- Serve mixture and top with more pecorino and breadcrumbs.