Orecchiette With Cauliflower, Breadcrumbs, Pancetta and Pepitas

This is a total straight-up weeknight recipe that puts your family right where you want them to be at the dinner hour.
03/05/2014 08:27 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Every week on Food52, Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.

Today: The perfect weeknight dinner, plus five tricks to make it even better.

Sometimes, I trick all of you. This is a weeknight cooking column, as you know, but there are weeks I force you to make birthday cakes and stews, hoping you won’t notice. But hey, everyone, Orecchiette with Cauliflower, Breadcrumbs, Pancetta, and Pepitas is a total straight-up weeknight recipe that puts your family right where you want them to be, which hopefully is not in front of DVRed Dog with a Blog, at the dinner hour.

Here are a few tips that you can ignore, but will slightly speed up this otherwise straightforward deal:

1. Trader Joe’s sells really good pepitas. I keep bags of them in the basement. 

2. I buy pre-chopped pancetta. You don’t have to, but BOOM, saved ya five minutes. 

3. I like panko bread crumbs. They are not fresh. But they are good.

4. I use my best best olive oil, saved for such dishes. If you come to my house and attempt to cook with it I will become very angry and passive aggressively hide your scarf. “Was the scarf orange, you say? Gee, I never saw it.”

5. Re-heats okay-ish one day later. No more.

Makes 8 cups of pasta

1 1/2 pounds cauliflower, broken into bite sized pieces

1 pound of orecchiette (if unavailable use conchiglie or cavatelli)

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/2 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)

1/4 cup of good olive oil

3 thick slices of pancetta, cut into small dice

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 lemon wedge

1/2 cup grated Pecorino

1/2 cup chopped parsley 

Photo by James Ransom

This article originally appeared on Food52.com: Orecchiette with Cauliflower, Breadcrumbs, Pancetta and Pepitas

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