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Photo: Thomas J. Story Photo by: Photo: Thomas J. Story

Romanesco Broccoli and Toasted Almond Pasta

Romanesco broccoli, a beautiful lime-green vegetable with a dense, heavy head covered in spiraling points, is widely grown in Italy and is starting to show up in more farmers' markets here. Unlike its close cousin the cauliflower, it doesn't have a sulfurous taste; instead, its flavor is mild and gently sweet.

Sunset AUGUST 2011

  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Total: 30 Minutes


  • 12 ounces campanelle or penne pasta
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 heads roughly chopped Romanesco broccoli (about 1 1/4 lbs. total)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded asiago cheese


1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp. oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add Romanesco and 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tbsp. more oil to pan along with garlic and chile flakes. Cook until garlic is fragrant and light golden and Romanesco is tender, about 5 minutes more.

2. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta water, and return to pot. Stir in Romanesco mixture, lemon zest, almonds, cheese, remaining 3 tbsp. oil and 1/4 tsp. salt, and enough pasta water to moisten (about 3/4 cup).

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 438
  • Calories from fat: 46%
  • Protein: 13g
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated fat: 3.5g
  • Carbohydrate: 51g
  • Fiber: 6.5g
  • Sodium: 257mg
  • Cholesterol: 5mg

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Romanesco Broccoli and Toasted Almond Pasta Recipe