Pasta with Oven-Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower

This pasta with cauliflower recipe from Nancy Harmon Jenkins’ and Sara Jenkins’ cookbook, The Four Seasons of...
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Pasta with Cauliflower Recipe

MIchael Harlan Turkell

This pasta with cauliflower recipe from Nancy Harmon Jenkins’ and Sara Jenkins’ cookbook, The Four Seasons of Pasta, is made with Romanesco cauliflower, freshly ground black pepper, and anchovies for a deeply flavorful, textured pasta.

Reprinted by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara Jenkins, 2015.

4
Servings
762
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 large head Romanesco, trimmed
  • 1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed with the flat blade of a knife and coarsely chopped
  • 2 large salted or oil-packed anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small dried red chile pepper, or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 Cup coarsely chopped pitted black olives, preferably Gaeta
  • 2 Tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Pound pennette or similar short, stubby pasta, such as lumache, garganelli, or fusilli
  • 1 Cup freshly grated grana padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/3 Cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Cup toasted bread crumbs

Directions

Set the oven on 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Break the Romanesco into small florets, each about 1 inch long. If they’re very fat, cut them in half. Toss the florets in a bowl with 6 tablespoons of the oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Distribute the florets in an even layer over the parchment-lined baking sheet. Transfer to the hot oven and roast, stirring and turning every 10 to 15 minutes, until the florets are tender but crisp and brown around the edges, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.

In a heavy, deep pan large enough to hold the romanesco and the cooked pasta, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil with the butter over low heat until the butter has melted and foamed slightly. Add the garlic and cook very gently until the garlic is softened. Do not let the garlic brown. Add the anchovy fillets and continue cooking, crushing the anchovies into the oil with a fork. Break up the chili pepper, discarding some of the seeds (to reduce the heat), and add the chile pieces along with the olives and capers. Cook a little bit more, just to meld the flavors. Now stir in the roasted Romanesco and toss to mix well. Keep warm until the pasta is ready.

When the pasta water boils, add salt and the pasta.

When the pasta is almost done, add about ¼ cup of the pasta water to the Romanesco mixture and set over gentle heat to come to a simmer. Drain the pasta before it is completely al dente and combine with the Romanesco, tossing to mix. Let it cook together a few minutes longer until the pasta is thoroughly cooked. Turn it into a warm serving bowl.

Set aside a spoonful of grated cheese, a spoonful of parsley, and a spoonful of toasted bread crumbs to use as a garnish. Add the remaining cheese, parsley, and bread crumbs to the pasta and toss. Serve immediately, topped with the reserved cheese, parsley, and bread crumbs.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
41g
59%
Sugar
38g
42%
Saturated Fat
30g
100%
Cholesterol
16mg
5%
Carbohydrate, by difference
86g
66%
Protein
15g
33%
Vitamin A, RAE
4µg
1%
Vitamin B-12
1µg
42%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
4mg
5%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
20µg
22%
Calcium, Ca
105mg
11%
Choline, total
17mg
4%
Fiber, total dietary
4g
16%
Fluoride, F
33µg
1%
Folate, total
105µg
26%
Iron, Fe
5mg
28%
Magnesium, Mg
35mg
11%
Niacin
6mg
43%
Pantothenic acid
1mg
20%
Phosphorus, P
177mg
25%
Selenium, Se
22µg
40%
Sodium, Na
894mg
60%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Water
140g
5%
Zinc, Zn
2mg
25%

Pasta Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Pasta Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients.Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.

Pasta Wine Pairing

Sweet chenin blanc, muscat, or amontillado sherry with nut-based desserts; sauternes or sweet German wines with pound cake, cheesecake, and other mildly sweet desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines with sweeter desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines, port, madeira, late-harvest zinfandel, or cabernet sauvignon or cabernet franc with chocolate desserts.