19 October 2020: Romanesco Cauliflower Pasta with Olives, Capers, and Parsley

We’re nearing the end of our 20-week Summer CSA and finding more Fall veggies in our share. This week, we were introduced to a new one: Romanesco. To me, it’s odd shape and more nutty flavor reminded me of cauliflower, but it seemed to hold up better in cooking. Not sure how to deal with prepping this vegetable? A Beautiful Plate, the source for this recipe, has a great how-to.

Romanesco Cauliflower Pasta with Olives, Capers & Parsley, from A Beautiful Plate

Yield 4 servings (428 calories)

Ingredients

  • 1 head of Romanesco (or cauliflower)
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (divided)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 heaping cut pitted kalamata olives, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 TBSP capers, roughly chopped
  • large pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 heaping cup chopped Italian parsley leaves, lightly packed (more for garnishing)
  • 1 lb dried linguini or fettucine pasta (we ended up needing only half pound)
  • freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for serving (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F with rack in center position.
  2. Trim and discard the base of the Romanesco and cut it in half, then quarters. Standing each quarter upright & holding your knife at an angle, trim the florets from the core. Most of the florets will fall off or can easily be separated with your fingers (you want the florets to be no larger than an inch in diameter); cut any larger florets in half with a knife to match the size of the other florets.
  3. Place the florets on a half-sheet pan and toss with 1 TBSP of olive oil, kosher salt & freshly ground pepper. Distribute the florets, cut-side down, into an even layer, making sure the florets aren’t touching each other if possible. Roast at 450 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing halfway, or until carmelized and tender.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring continuously, or until fragrant. Do not allow it to gain color (this can happen quickly!). Add the kalamata olives, capers, and red pepper flakes to the pan and saute for an additional minute or until warm. Taste for salt and pepper. Add half of the parsley to the skillet and keep the mixture warm – off the heat – as you cook the pasta.
  5. Boil the pasta until it is al dente, reserving a cup of cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and add the kalamata olive and caper mixture and roasted Romanesco. Toss the mixutre together gently, adding the remaining chopped parsley, and a touch of extra virgin olive oil and reserved cooking water if dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve immediately and garnish with chopped parsley and parmigiana cheese as desired.

More detailed nutrition information can be found on the original recipe’s website.

About amybisson

I taught second, third and fourth graders. Teaching was my passion and joy for 30 years. And it didn't hurt that they called me "mom" sometimes. View all posts by amybisson

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