© David Loftus
This is an absolutely delicious recipe. It’s quite unusual, and the best thing about it is that it makes a hero of the much-underloved everyday cauliflower. If you’re down the farmers’ market, or at the supermarket, have a look around for a Romanesco cauliflower – it’s a similar size to a normal cauliflower but spiky and green. It also has a delicious flavour. The reason I love this dish is because it takes some all-time classic ingredients and puts them together in a great way. In Britain, we normally eat cauliflower baked with cheese, and in Italy it is baked as a Parmigiana with cream, cheese and anchovies. All these flavours are in this risotto, with the added bonus of really crunchy chilli pangrattato sprinkled on top – it gives an amazing kick.
Whiz the bread in a food processor with the anchovies, the oil from the tin and the chillies. Heat a frying pan with a splash of oil and fry the flavoured breadcrumbs, stirring and tossing constantly until golden brown.
Trim the coarse leaves off the cauliflower and cut out the stalk. Chop the nice inner part of the stalk finely. Start making your risotto bianco, adding the chopped cauliflower stalk to the pan with the onion and celery at Stage 1. Add the cauliflower florets to your pan of hot stock.
Continue to follow the basic risotto recipe, adding the stock bit by bit until the rice is half-cooked. By now the cauliflower florets should be quite soft, so you can start to add them to the risotto with the stock, crushing them into the rice as you go. Continue until the rice is cooked and all the cauliflower has been added.
At Stage 4, when you add the butter and Parmesan, stir in the parsley, taste and season. Sprinkle with the anchovy pangrattato, grate some more Parmesan over the top and serve. So, so good!
• from Jamie's Italy
serves: Serves 6
• 2 handfuls of stale bread, torn into pieces
• 1 small tin of anchovies, oil from tin reserved
• 3 small dried red chillies
• extra virgin olive oil
• 1 cauliflower
• 1 x risotto bianco
• a handful of chopped fresh parsley
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Parmesan cheese, for grating