For real. I served this to my kids last night and they LOVED it. People, this pasta dish has anchovies, Brussels sprouts (duh), and cauliflower (duh again) and my four year olds thought it was delicious. You should totally try this.
Bucatini (I think we’ve discussed this before) looks like really fat spaghetti but has a hole through the middle. It is a fun pasta shape to serve with kids and is great for holding chunkier sauces. You can definitely use another long pasta in its place, but if you can find bucatini, I’d say go for it.
This bucatini is very simple. Start with a sauté of the veggies in olive oil, add the aromatics (onion, garlic, anchovies, crushed red pepper, thyme, and rosemary), cook until the onion is soft then keep warm until your pasta is cooked. Once the pasta is cooked, it is added to the vegetable mixture with some reserved pasta water (standard Italian cooking process here) and a nice, big shave of parmesan. I cut down the onion by half and skipped adding the additional olive oil when I added the onion (so ¼ cup olive oil total). The dish did not need the additional olive oil in my opinion but I may have used a little more than a ½ cup pasta water to fold everything together. I also skipped the bread crumbs because I’m not really a fan of breadcrumbs in pasta even though I know it is standard many places. If you do add the bread crumbs, you may also want to add the additional olive oil to keep the dish from being dry. Let me know how that goes.
Overall, I loved the simplicity of this dish and I sat back amazed as my kids devoured it. Gus had one Brussels sprout left on his plate about which Théa asked, “Mom, can I have this?” Honestly. It’s enough to make me want to keep cooking.
(Footnote: these photos are horrible. They make the food look absolutely yucky and for that I am sorry. I have got to bet back on the photography horse. First thing in January is a spot to shoot food!)