Slow Days: Spiced Cauliflower Pasta  

People who are new to Fasting often pose the questions: “Can I really eat ‘anything I want’ on a Slow Day?” and “What should I eat on Slow Days?” To answer those questions, I have decided to add some blog posts to show some of the foods we eat on what the world calls NFDs [non-fast days] but which, in our house, we call ‘Slow Days.’ This feature will appear sporadically. 

Now for the answers. Can you really eat ANYTHING you want on a Slow Day? Not really. If you eat too many calories every Slow Day, you will not lose weight. There are many questions asked on the FastDiet Forum https://thefastdiet.co.uk/forums/ which attest to that. Once in a while you can splurge, as long as it isn’t everyday. For what to eat on Slow Days, Dr. Mosley recommends a Mediterranean Diet. As for how we eat, an example follows.

As Summer turns to Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, our taste buds seem to want the warmth of spices in our food. “Pumpkin Spice,” anyone? [Which is not derived from an actual pumpkin. It refers to the spices used in pumpkin pie. But I digress.] This pasta dish is excellent. The curious addition of spices tells us that its origin was in Medieval Times. Nobles returning from the Crusades [this is the one good thing to result from the lamentable Crusades] brought with them ‘exotic’ spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves. European cuisine embraced them, often producing daring parings of spices with meat [as in Tourtiere] and vegetables. Of course the tomatoes in this recipe did not show up in Europe until the early 1500s, and they are a good addition. Sicily was a port of call for Crusaders and Lynne Rossetto Kasper is the source of this Sicilian recipe found in her The Italian Country Table.

The mise en place for 2 servings.
Serves 4 — original recipeServes 2 — how I do it
Large head cauliflower florets370 g cauliflower floretsBlanch in boiling water 1 minute. Keep water on the heat.
EVOO
1 cup onion, chopped
salt & pepper
EVOO
½ c onion, chopped
salt & pepper
Film bottom of a non-stick saute pan with oil and heat to medium-high. Stir-fry cauliflower 2 minutes, then add onion and seasoning and stirfry until golden.
Large pinch red pepper flakes
ditto for ground cloves
ditto ground cinnamon
¼ c basil + Italian parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 oil-packed anchovies
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch red pepper flakes
ditto ground cloves
ditto ground cinnamon
2 Tb basil + Italian parsley
1 cloves garlic, minced
2 oil-packed anchovies
1½ Tbsp red wine vinegar
Chop the basil and parsley before packing in the measuring cup. Rinse the anchovies. Add these to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
4 oz zitti/penne per person2 oz zitti/penne per personCook pasta in salted water until al dente.
2/3 cup pasta water
14 oz canned whole tomatoes
1/3 cup pasta water
7 fl oz canned whole tomatoes
Drain and chop tomatoes. Add pasta water to saute pan and scrape up the brown bits. Add tomatoes, and boil until cauliflower is tender-crisp, ~3 minutes.
Reduce heat and add cooked pasta. Stir to blend. Season to taste
¼ pound ricotta salata OR Parmesan
1/3 c pine nuts
2 oz ricotta salata OR Parmesan
3 Tbsp pine nuts
Shave cheese into curls and add to serve hot, topped with pine nuts.
Plated with a nice piece of sourdough bread. You are correct: the pasta is neither zitti nor penne. You don’t have to stay inside the lines all the time.

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