Orecchiette with cauliflower and walnut brown-butter pesto

This is far from the traditional basil pesto, but it has nuts and parmesan in the mix. The name  derives from the Italian word "pestare", to pound. We've sped things up with a food processor.

You'll need

350 gm (½ small) cauliflower, cut into florets 2 tbsp olive oil 500 gm dried orecchiette Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½, plus lemon wedges (optional) to serve Finely grated parmesan, to serve   Walnut brown-butter pesto 185 gm cold butter, diced ¼ cup (firmly packed) sage leaves 80 gm roasted walnuts 30 gm grated parmesan 1 long red chilli, coarsely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 250°C. Place cauliflower on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. Roast until golden and edges are slightly charred (8-10 minutes).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for walnut brown-butter pesto, cook butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming and nut brown (4-5 minutes), then add sage and stir until crisp. Set aside a few leaves for garnish, then transfer sage butter to a food processor, add remaining ingredients, blitz to a coarse purée and season to taste.
  • 03
  • Cook orecchiette in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (10-12 minutes). Drain, reserving about 80ml pasta water, and return pasta to pan. Add pesto, cauliflower, lemon rind and juice, toss to combine, adding a little pasta water to loosen, and season to taste. Top with parmesan and reserved sage leaves and serve with lemon wedges.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Featured in

Oct 2017

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