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Pasta with Giardiniera Sauce

Serves 4

Fresh garden veggies tossed with pasta and topped with cheese is simple but has a little something special.


  • About 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, finely diced
  • 3-4 small ribs celery from heart, finely diced
  • 1 bulb fennel, cored and chopped into small dice
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 2 small red chili peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • About 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar
  • About 1/2 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 pound tagliatelle or other wide egg pasta
  • About 2 cups small cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Pecorino cheese, for serving


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. Heat a skillet with olive oil, four turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, fennel, bay leaf, chili peppers, garlic, bell pepper and onion. Season with salt, pepper and thyme and cook to tender, 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Deglaze the pan with about 3 tablespoons vinegar – three fat splashes. Lean your head away from the pan or you’ll be sure to clean out your sinuses!
  4. Add the stock to the vegetables and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  5. When the water boils, add salt and cook the pasta to al dente, adding the cauliflower about 2 minutes after you drop your pasta. Add a cup of the starchy cooking water to the sauce just before draining the pasta.
  6. Add the pasta and parsley to the sauce and remove from the heat. Toss to combine. Adjust the salt and pepper and remove the bay leaf. Toss in the cheese to your taste, or pass at the table.