Vegetables play an important role in the cuisine of India, and cauliflower and peas are a favorite combination. Here Italian orecchiette catches the peas and the sauce so that each bite is full of flavor.
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, cut into thin slices
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 4 cups)
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes longer.
Add the cauliflower to the onion mixture; stir to coat. Add the water, bring to a simmer, cover, and steam for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and salt. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the peas and cilantro and cook until the cauliflower is tender and the peas are hot, about 2 minutes longer.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the orecchiette until just done, about 15 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce.
Wine Recommendation: Fragrant sauces work very nicely with fragrant wines such as gewürztraminers, which can come from either the Alsace region in France or from California. The Alsatian version often has more acidity.