Sunday, February 20, 2011

Romanesco Pasta with Sweet Corn

Romanesco Pasta
I love the look of this interesting vegetable. Romanesco is bright green, beautiful, almost jeweled looking. While this broccoli has only been available in US markets for a few years, Romanesco broccoli was first documented in Italy (as broccolo romanesco) in the sixteenth century.
This is a simple recipe for an incredible pasta dish. You can use any pasta, I used some penne this time. You could also use cauliflower or tightly formed broccoli for this dish.
If you are not lucky enough to live in a place like Hawaii where we get fresh sweet corn all year, you can use good quality frozen corn for this. 


1 head of Romanesco
2 heads of garlic with the tops sliced off
Olive oil (you will need about 4-5 tablespoons for roasting and 2 for sautéing.
2 small red onions or shallots sliced thinly
2 ears of fresh corn cut from the cob
½ cup heavy cream (optional)
¼ cup VSOP Cognac (optional)
Crushed red pepper, coarse black pepper and salt to taste
½ # thick pasta cooked  al dente (reserve ¼ cup of pasta water)
Preheat oven to 350. Use a silpat pad or parchment paper to line a large baking sheet.
Cut up the Romanesco florets in large chunks and toss in olive oil with a little salt and pepper, then pour on to the baking sheet. Add the two garlic heads and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 30-45 minutes until the garlic is soft and the Romanesco is starting to caramelize.  Set aside.

 Put the pasta water on to boil.

In a large skillet add remaining olive oil, corn and onions with a pinch of salt. Stir and heat till the onions start to get soft. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the center of the pan, stir well and then add the Romanesco. Stir and add the cream if using. Cook for a minute till cream starts to thicken. Add the cognac & simmer for 1-2 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon or spider, add the pasta to the pan and stir. If needed, you can add a little pasta water to the pan.
Serve with freshly grated parmesan and crushed red pepper.   


irondog said...

Wow! I thought your photo of the romanesco was a piece of coral or something, it's so beautiful! Where can we buy that on the Big Island?

VS said...

First time here. You have a lovely space. Loved browsing through your post.

The broccolli looks like a coral. Yummy cheesy pasta.