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Let’s Go Romanesco! Easy Romanesco Pasta with Lemon & Garlic

Romanesco Pasta

Pimp up your pasta and have a fabulous weeknight meal that takes no time at all, but feels a little bit special. This seasonal romanesco pasta dish is a taste sensation. It’s quick and simple to make and is also suitable for vegans. 

Romanesco Pasta

Romanesco, also known as the Roman cauliflower is actually half cauliflower, half broccoli. It looks almost alien with its strange structure and lime green fractal florets. But don’t be put off, it’s one of the tastiest brassicas out there and is perfect for an all Italian late autumn or winter meal. I was inspired by the delicious roasted romanesco at River Cottage a few weeks back and have been experimenting at home with frying it rather than roasting.  Its inherent nuttiness is enhanced when fried or roasted. It also has an affinity with garlic, lemon, chilli and almonds. So for this romanesco pasta dish I used all four. Luckily I didn’t have to go to Italy for the romanesco as we grow plenty of them here in Cornwall. It’s always nice to enjoy local produce where possible.

Romanesco Pasta

Barilla is Italy’s top selling pasta brand. It uses only top quality durum wheat and water. Oh, and some Italian passion apparently! I was sent a selection of their pasta and sauces to try. For this recipe I went with the wholewheat fusilli; I prefer to eat wholefoods when given the choice. I also like the fun twisty shape and find it holds a tomato sauce very well. The ingredients are %100 whole durum wheat semolina and water – talk about elegant simplicity.

Barilla also make a fantastic Arrabbiata sauce, or what I’d call tomato & chilli sauce. It contains only natural ingredients, is rich and flavoursome with just enough chilli to make its presence felt. Italians are not hot headed, or at least when it comes to chillies.

Romanesco Pasta

The romanesco is first steamed,  then fried with lemon and garlic. This tops the pasta and tomato sauce. My romanesco pasta is then finished with toasted flaked almonds to make a delicious dish fit for anyone, including vegans. The flaked almonds could, of course, be swapped for some grated Parmesan cheese.

The fusilli pasta was one of the best I’ve tried. I’ve noticed some of the brands go a bit mushy on the outside whilst the inside isn’t quite cooked. The sauce had a good consistency and excellent flavour and the whole dish was truly scrumptious. CT kept telling me just how delicious it was – he’s not generally one for going into raptures.

Romanesco Pasta with Lemon & Garlic and Tomato Chilli Sauce
Yields 2
This quick & easy weekday meal is served with tomato chilli sauce and romanesco with lemon & garlic to make it a bit more special. Sprinkle toasted almonds over the top instead of cheese for an all inclusive vegan bowl of goodness.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 small romanesco - rinsed & drained
  2. pinch sea salt
  3. 1 tbsp olive oil
  4. 1 large clove garlic
  5. ¼ organic lemon - zest and juice
  6. 20g flaked almonds
  7. 170g Barilla wholewheat fusilli pasta
  8. ½ tsp sea salt
  9. 200g (½ jar) Barilla arrabbiata tomato & chilli sauce
Instructions
  1. Trim the romanesco of outer leaves and tough stalk.
  2. Place in a medium sized pan with a couple of centimetres of boiling water and the pinch of salt. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the romanesco is just tender.
  3. Dry fry the almonds over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally until golden.
  4. Remove the romanesco into a colander and allow to drain, then pull apart into florets .
  5. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 11 minutes or until al dante.
  6. Meanwhile warm the sauce gently in a pan, stirring occasionally until near simmering.
  7. Heat the oil on a non-stick frying pan. Add the romanesco florets and fry over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes - the florets should be just beginning to char. Grate in the lemon zest and add the garlic after the first 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, squeeze in the lemon juice and stir.
  8. Divide the pasta into 2 bowls. Spoon the sauce over the top, then add the romanesco and finish with the almonds.
Notes
  1. Double the quantities for 4 people.
  2. If you're really hungry, allow 100g pasta per person instead of 85g.
Tin and Thyme http://tinandthyme.uk/
 Meat Free MondaysI’m sending my romanesco pasta to Jac at Tinned Tomatoes for this week’s Meat Free Monday.

 

 

Simple and in Season LogoIt also goes to Katie over at Feeding Boys for Simple and in Season.

 

 

 

Cook Blog ShareLikewise I’m sending my romanesco pasta off to Sneaky Veg and Hijacked by Twins for #CookBlogShare.

 

 

 

Recipe of the WeekAnd lastly, I think! It goes to A Mummy Too for #recipeoftheweek.

 

 

 

Post commissioned by Barilla. I was not expected to write a positive review and all opinions are, as always, my own. Thanks to my readers for supporting the brands that help to keep Tin and Thyme blythe and blogging.

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    janie
    5th December 2016

    Oh Choclette, that looks just stunning! There is something so magical about Romanesco cauli’s, they have to be one of the most beautiful veggies around.
    Janie x

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th December 2016

      Thanks Janie – love it when you like my pics 😀 Yes, it’s a fantastic looking veg and it tastes so good too.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Katie
    5th December 2016

    I’ve never cooked with romanesco before, and I really don’t know why!!! Your pasta recipe looks and sounds delicious and perfect for warming everyone up on a winter weeknight 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th December 2016

      I think it’s one of those vegetables that takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th December 2016

      Thank you Angie. It’s so very easy to make and sure beats pasta with just tomato sauce.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th December 2016

      Surprisingly, they make quite a bit difference to the final dish – wouldn’t be the same without them 😉

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      5th December 2016

      Thanks Johanna. I’d never quite known how to either until I had it at River Cottage and I loved the way they served it.

  3. Leave a Reply

    cheri
    6th December 2016

    This is my kind of meal, love the combo of ingredients. Beautiful presentation!!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th December 2016

      Thanks very much cheri. It makes for a most delicious meal with very little effort.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Nico @ yumsome
    6th December 2016

    I adore romanesco – not just for its taste but because it is such an awesome example of the Fibonacci spiral. Oh, and it’s super-pretty too… it’s almost a shame to cook and eat it, really!

    That said, your pasta does look exceedingly yummy, especially with the addition of the lemon. Not sure about that one clove of garlic though…. isn’t one clove what you use to flavour other garlic? LOL!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      6th December 2016

      Hehe, it was a very big clove of garlic Nico – I shall amend 😉

  5. Leave a Reply

    Mel
    6th December 2016

    Romanesco is so delicious and it adds a little ‘je ne sais quoi’ to your pasta. Love Barilla. That’s the brand my mum has always bought and it reminds me of my childhood in France!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      7th December 2016

      Absolutely Mel. This was a first for me, trying Barilla, and I’m sold.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      7th December 2016

      Thanks Sus. It’s really only something I’ve recently started buying on a regular basis – I love it!

  6. Leave a Reply

    Corina
    7th December 2016

    It sounds delicious and made me realise I have actually never eaten a romanesco! I think that’s certainly something I need to correct soon!

  7. Leave a Reply

    Mandy
    7th December 2016

    Romanesco is so gorgeous – I almost don’t want to eat it! However, I’d be tempted by your pasta dish as it looks absolutely divine. Thanks for joining in with #CookBlogShare this week.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      7th December 2016

      Thanks Mandy. I do know what you mean. But sometimes needs must 😉

  8. Leave a Reply

    Anca
    7th December 2016

    I love Romanesco, it looks so interesting, this was the reason why I tried it for the first time. Your pasta dish is looking great, very inviting.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      9th December 2016

      Thanks Eb. It’s true, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a recipe for it.

  9. Leave a Reply

    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche
    9th December 2016

    I don’t think I’ve ever cooked a romanesco! It’s so beautiful though, I need to give it a go. This sounds like a great way to start – gorgeous flavours 🙂

  10. Leave a Reply

    Alix @A Hedgehog in the Kitchen
    11th December 2016

    This recipe looks divine! I have added it to my favorite “Vegetarian Recipes” board on Pinterest! Thanks so much for sharing this lovely pasta dish. I can’t wait to make it at home!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      11th December 2016

      Thanks Alix. it’s really quite a simple pasta dish but preparing the romanesco like this turns it into something quite special.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      14th December 2016

      Lemons are such a wonderful fruit and they work well in so many dishes.

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