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.
350 gm (½ small)cauliflower, cut into florets2 tbspolive oil500 gmdried orecchietteFinely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½, plus lemon wedges (optional) to serveFinely grated parmesan, to serveWalnut brown-butter pesto185 gmcold butter, diced¼ cup (firmly packed)sage leaves80 gmroasted walnuts30 gmgrated parmesan1long red chilli, coarsely chopped2garlic cloves, finely chopped
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).
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.
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.