Roasted Romanesco Pasta is an easy 30 minute meal. Similar in taste to cauliflower and broccoli, romanesco pairs with garlic in this simple vegan dish.
Whenever I need a quick and easy meal, I turn to pasta.
But instead of just combining it with a jar of sauce from my pantry, I love using fresh vegetables to turn it into a healthy meal.
It’s amazing what you can create with a box of noodles and whatever produce you have in your refrigerator.
And Roasted Romanesco Pasta is another favorite when this beautiful brassica vegetable is in season.
What is romanesco?
Also known as Romanesco broccoli or Roman cauliflower, this vegetable is chartreuse in color and looks like a fractal shape from outer space.
Some describe the flavor as a cross between broccoli and cauliflower.
While it can be eaten raw, my favorite way to enjoy it is roasted with olive oil and garlic.
Whenever I see it at my local farm stand or supermarket, I always buy some so I can make Roasted Romanesco Pasta.
It’s not as easy to find as other vegetables since it has a shorter growing season, so if you see some, I recommend buying one.
However, if you can’t find romanesco, you can easily substitute either cauliflower or broccoli in this recipe.
Preparing Roasted Romanesco Pasta is very simple.
I take the romanesco florets and some thinly sliced garlic and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Then I toss them with olive oil and season them to taste with salt and pepper.
Into the oven they go for 20 to 25 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
Meanwhile, I cook some short pasta, such as penne, in salted water.
Before draining the al dente pasta, I use a coffee cup to reserve a little of the starchy water.
I learned this trick from years of watching Rachael Ray on the Food Network.
Once the vegetables are done roasting, I add them to the cooked pasta along with a little of the pasta water, as needed.
The starchy liquid combines with the olive oil to help the vegetables stick to the noodles like a sauce.
Then it’s time to enjoy Roasted Romanesco Pasta!
Roasted Romanesco Pasta is delicious on its own or served with other Italian-inspired dishes.
If you want to add some extra protein to your meal, try adding a salad featuring beans.
Some of my favorites that go well with Roasted Romanesco Pasta are White Bean Cherry Tomato Basil Salad and Grilled Eggplant Salad with Chickpeas and Tomatoes.
Now let’s make Roasted Romanesco Pasta!
Roasted Romanesco Pasta
- 1 head romanesco separated into florets
- 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 12 ounces short pasta such as penne (gluten-free, if preferred)
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the romanesco and garlic on the baking sheet and drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil. Toss well with your hands to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Roast the vegetables 20-25 minutes until tender and lightly browned, tossing half way through.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot.
- Pour the contents of the baking sheet into the pasta, including any remaining olive oil. Toss well, adding as much of the reserved pasta water as needed. (See Notes.)
- Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Enjoy!