Auntie Fluffie’s Pasta

My Auntie Fluffie (that is, Ms. Florence Altiero-Madafarri) lives in Hollywood, Florida, with her

ceramic leopards and leopard-print plates. But back in the ’60s she was a classic babe-in miniskirt, with a Princess phone and spit curls. In that era, Fluff lived next door to my family, and she would feed my brother and my food like this recipe. This is a “cream of leftovers” dish that you can throw together on a weeknight. Still, it ’s memorable. It’s got all the good stuff:

browned butter, caramelized onion, lemon, and cheese; cauliflower is the star. If you think you do n’t like

cauliflower, I dare you to give it a try.

Serves 2

½ cup/112 g (1 stick) butter (yup)

½ red onion, diced

2 tsp garlic, minced

1½ cups/350 g cauliflower, cut into forkfuls

½ lb/225 g pasta, preferably rigatoni, cooked

½ cup/40 g fresh parsley, chopped coarsely

½ lemon

Salt

Coarsely ground black pepper

Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated

Place a heavy 12-inch/30 cm skillet over medium-high heat.

Put in the butter, onion, garlic, and cauliflower.

Partially cover the pan and simultaneously brown the butter, caramelize the onion and get the cauliflower cooked.

It will take around 10 minutes.

They are all kind of racing each other. If the onion is browning

but the cauliflower isn’t tender, add a splash of white wine or water and cover until the cauliflower is

steamed through.

Add the pasta and stir; heat through. Add the parsley, squeeze in the lemon and stir.

Turn out the pasta onto a warm platter. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese.