What is this strange vegetable called Romanesco? Have you seen one before or tried cooking with it? The first time I got one in my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box, I had no idea what to do with it.
Also known as Romanesco broccoli or Roman cauliflower, it’s chartreuse in color and looks like a fractal shape from outer space. Some describe the flavor as a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. I personally find it more like cauliflower, and my favorite way to prepare it is to roast it in the oven with garlic. What do you think?
Try serving this pasta with a simple green salad with Dijon Mustard Dressing or Mediterranean Cucumber and Tomato Salad, and you’ll have yourself a satisfying meal in under an hour. If you are not a big garlic fan, you can leave the cloves whole and remove them after roasting.
Now let’s make Roasted Romanesco Penne Pasta!
Roasted Romanesco with Penne
- 1 head Romanesco separated into florets
- 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil for roasting
- 1 box penne pasta (12-16 ounces ) I used gluten free
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Place the Romanesco and garlic in the baking dish and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and toss well with your hands to coat.
Roast approximately 30 minutes until tender, stirring half way through and adding more oil if the pan appears dry.
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 dish into the pasta, including the oil. Toss well, adding the reserved pasta water as necessary.
Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Enjoy!
If you can't find Romanesco, this dish is equally delicious with cauliflower.
Looking for more pasta recipes? You may also enjoy Creamy Sundried Tomato Pasta.
I also highly recommend the book Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen.
What is your favorite way to prepare Romanesco? Let me know in the comments below.
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