1 large head cauliflower, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 lb. pasta, ziti or orecchiette, or your favorite
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 day-old loaf of Italian peasant bread, or similar
¼ - ½ cup olive oil
½ cup grated pecorino or parmigiano cheese
hot pepper flakes to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Fill a large pasta pot with water and bring to a boil. Season water with salt and add the cauliflower pieces.
Meantime, cut the Italian bread in half and scrape out the inside making white bread crumbs.Toss bread with about ¼ cup olive oil, the minced garlic, and hot pepper flakes (optional). Spread out on a sheet pan and bake until golden and crispy. Set aside.
When the cauliflower is tender add the pasta to the pot. Cook until al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water.
Drain pasta and cauliflower and transfer to a serving bowl. Cauliflower should be broken into small pieces and almost like a cream. Add the breadcrumbs and cheese. Add a little olive oil. Add some pasta water if too dry. Check seasoning and add salt if needed…and a little pepper. Serve with extra cheese on the side.