One great reason to work at home is the chance to eat a real lunch. A favorite for busy days is cauliflower and green olives over pasta, simple ingredients that deliver sophisticated flavor when combined. The dish holds up well to all of the tinkering that happens around here, like the incorporation of seasonal greens or leftover pork. Yesterday I shaved off some lardo that’s been curing in the fridge since early March and got it started in a hot skillet. The slivers turned translucent then melted, and I sauteed the cauliflower in the rendered fat. Did the lardo make a difference? I had nothing to compare to. But considering the basic nature of the ingredients, I found the synergy to be tremendous.

Recipe: Pasta with Cauliflower and Green Olives

1 tbl chopped lardo, optional / 1 clove garlic, minced / 1 cup cauliflower florets / pinch hot pepper flakes / 5 green olives, chopped / olive oil / salt & pepper / parmesan cheese to taste / cooked pasta

Heat a skillet over medium-high. Add chopped lardo and stir, allowing fat to render. Alternately, add olive oil to the pan and swirl. Add garlic, cauliflower, and hot pepper, and cook at a lively heat, adding a few tablespoons of pasta water if available or tap water to moisten pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. When cauliflower is just tender, pour over cooked pasta. Stir in olives, olive oil, and parmesan cheese. Serves 1.