Cauliflower-Basil and Fig pasta, with Pistachio buttered Toast

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Why make pistachio butter, when the usual butter would be enough? Just because I felt like? Or because there were pistachios at home? Or to enhance the herby flavor of the said pasta even more? All three reasons, actually. I make even orange butter sometimes, but that’s another story. I will just say that I love anything that is out of ordinary. And this pistachio butter is just that. And another thing about this particular pasta this particular time is that it has all flavors perfectly combined all into one dish – sweet, salty, tangerine and spice.

First off the pistachio butter; its quite simple actually; you just have to take some time out to make it and refrigerate it. The rest follows as if you have given instruction to not just yourself, but everyone else in the house too.

Pistachio butter:

  1. 50 gm pistachios, raw and unsalted
  2. 100 gm unsalted low-fat butter
  3. A pinch of salt
  4. 1 tspn of extra virgin olive oil
  5. 2 medium sized cloves of garlic

 

–          First off, toast your pistachios till they give out their scent. That’s when you take them off the heat and let them cool for a bit.

–          Whisk your butter till smooth with a spoon. No need for a whisk too, for such a little quantity.

–          I use a mortar and pestle for crushing and grinding the pistachios and garlic cloves, but you can use your processor or grinder, whichever is convenient.

–          In your mortar and pestle or grinder, add the garlic cloves, process, and then add in the toasted pistachios and grind till they become almost powder, but not entirely. With pistachios, I find that some texture is perfectly good. While you grind, add in the tspn of olive oil and salt.

–          Now add in the mixture to the butter and whisk again till smooth and absolutely luscious.

–          Refrigerate it. It stays well in the fridge for upto 2 weeks.

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Now for the pasta; you could definitely use fresh figs in this. I have tried them and they are as fabulous these dried ones.

  1. 250gm of any pasta of your choice
  2. 200 gm cauliflower, chopped into medium sized florets (so, a little chunky)
  3. 6-8 dried figs, chopped into fat slivers, or 4 fresh ones just quartered
  4. A bunch of fresh Italian basil leaves
  5. 20 gm of chilli flakes
  6. 3 garlic cloves, minced/crushed
  7. Salt
  8. Extra virgin olive oil

 

–          Cook your pasta according to the instructions on the packet. I used conchiglie, and it needed 7 min as per the instructions.

–          Meanwhile, cook your mixture to go into the pasta. Start by heating a heavy bottom pot, add a tbspn of oil, cook the garlic, add in the cauliflower and cook till the florets are almost fork tender.

–          Add in the chilli flakes, figs, salt and basil. Cook for 2 minutes more. Take mixture off the heat and add in some more fresh basil. This is one of the few pasta dishes I cook the basil. This gives a very rounded flavor to the dish. 

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