Tuesday, August 5, 2008






"Little ears"


I'm definitely going to nail that before we go to Italy :) Until then, guess I'll just go with 'Li'l Ears'!

So, this is another recipe from the backlog - I made this several weeks ago as a quick fix for dinner. I'd only cooked li'l ears a couple of times before and was pleasantly surprised by how easily the pasta picked up flavours and yet didn't get gooey. Guess they're pretty thick ears! :)

The highlight of this recipe was the garlic chives from the veggie patch - they lent a fabulously fresh flavour and aroma to the dish. Garlic rocks! So do chives. So together, they can only kick ass, right? A coarse pesto of sort with these chives, some parsley and pine nuts lent a gamut of flavours. And the cauliflower ... seriously, I'm falling in love with it all over again. The cauliflower picked up all the flavours and still stayed a bit crunchy - guess this was one of those few times when I lucked out and blanched the cauliflower *just* enough!

Li'l Ears and Cauliflower with Chives-Parsley Pesto
Eat a ear or 3, please?

Servings: 3-4 moderate servings or 2 super-hungry servings

4 cups of cooked orecchiette
(I honestly don't remember how long these have to be cooked, all I recall is that I used this fabulously chewy tri-colour orecchiette from Whole Foods - tomato, spinach and no-flavour)

1 T olive oil
a generous handful of garlic chives
another generous handful of italian parsley
2 serrano peppers
15-20 pine nuts
(you could substitute with walnuts here)
1 t sea salt

1 t olive oil
8-10 sundried tomatoes - chopped
(if these are the dry variety, soak them in warm water for 5-10 minutes before chopping them up)
3 scallions with the stalks - chopped
1/2 head of a medium cauliflower - cut into large florets

Heat a pot of water with a T of salt to a roiling boil. Place the cauliflower florets in the hot water, cover and boil till tender (but not mushy) for about 7-9 minutes.
[ Another option here is to just steam the cauliflower - you can place the florets on a steaming rack in a pan over boiling water, cover tightly and steam for 7-10 minutes]

Use a pestle to create a coarse, chunky paste of the pine nuts (or walnuts), parsley and chives, serrano peppers and salt (you could just grind them up instead). Stream in the olive oil slowly and continue crushing the pesto till the oil is soaked in.

Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the scallions lightly.
Stir in the pesto along with the sun-dried tomatoes and saute for a couple of minutes.
Now throw in the cauliflower and the pasta and stir for a couple more minutes.

Season with salt, maybe garnish with more chives? Or even throw some freshly grated parmesan on top?


Happy, tasty, easy-fix pasta. And replete with home-grown herbs. Yum!

Off this goes to Jessica of Finny Knits who is hosting this round of Grow Your Own (started by Andrea).

Ooo ... this is a bonus! I can even send this to Michelle at Greedy Gourmet for this week's edition of Presto Pasta Nights (that popular pasta event started by Ruth (Once Upon a Feast) :)


sunita said...

Kay! How are you doing ?...the pasta looks fab :-)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Fantastic! A wonderfully delicious dish!



Nags said...

looks lovely :) and i get why u call them lil ears :D

Pearlsofeast said...

sounds delicious kaykat.The pics are lovely.

delhibelle said...

Looks scrumptious , and the parsley pesto with chives sounds fantastic.

bhagyashri said...

This looks great! I liked the well scratched chopping board :)

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Love this! The "little ears" are one of my faves. I like to make them with brocolli.

Naomi Devlin said...

I love the serrano peppers in the pesto - a truly international version that would have italians gnashing their teeth with national afront. I posted a dairy free pesto recipe without pine nuts recently and was helpfully provided with the 'official' genovese recipe in case I dared to blaspheme again.

It's O-rek-yeti by the way - but I think you should continue calling them lil ears just for the hell of it.

x x x

lakshmi said...

Loved the chives photo. Now Orecch..I mean Lil Ears goes into my list of "To hunt for in Chennai:

A_and_N said...

Looks fabulous! I guess the use of less spices must really bring out the flavor of those garlic chives. Lovely pics too :)

Michelle said...

You forgot to add Orishitty to the list of pronunciations. :-D Not that they taste anything like it, quite the opposite! Your dish looks wonderful.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I don't care what you call it as long as you share. :)

Ruth Daniels said...

Great looking dish, not matter what you call it. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Looks like a good recipe to me. Simple recipes are always the best. I'm gonna try to add this to my regular list of pasta recipes.

Elizabeth said...

This looks really really good and I have been wanting to use "little ears" really badly too! So just perfect!