Fresh Cavatelli/Cauliflower/Almonds & Toasted Bread Crumbs

“Casareccie Vruocchele e Vredocchie - This dish couldn't be bad if it tried to be! All the ingredients = fabulous! This is from Lidia Bastianich's new cookbook "Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy" and we made this last night and it was awesome! Comfort food, oh yes! :)”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Fill the large pot with salted water (at least 6 quarts water with 1 tablespoon salt), and heat to a boil.
  2. Grate the bread chunk on the coarse holes of a box grater into a mixing bowl; you should have about 2 cups of fluffy crumbs.
  3. Pour 5 tablespoons of the olive oil into the skillet, set it over medium-high heat, and scatter in the sliced garlic and peperoncino & let them sizzle for a minute or so, then dump in the bread crumbs, and stir to moisten them with the oil.
  4. Toast the crumbs for about 5 minutes, tossing them and shaking the pan almost continuously, until they’re golden and crisp; adjust the heat so neither the bread crumbs nor the garlic gets too dark.
  5. Turn off the heat, and pour the toasted crumbs and garlic into the serving bowl.
  6. Meanwhile, start cooking the cauliflower and cavatelli.
  7. With the cooking water at a rolling boil, drop in the cauliflower florets, and cook them for about 3 minutes, until barely tender.
  8. Drop in the cavatelli, stir, and return the water quickly to a boil.
  9. Cook another 4 to 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is fully tender and the pasta is al dente.
  10. Quickly drain them (you can empty the pot into a colander) and spill the pasta and florets on top of the bread crumbs in the bowl.
  11. Sprinkle the almonds, parsley, and salt,over the bowl and toss everything together well, until the crumbs and almonds are evenly distributed and coat the pasta and cauliflower florets.
  12. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil all over, and toss again.
  13. Serve immediately, right from the bowl.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a