Romanesco Pasta
45 Min

Romanesco Pasta

The season of brassica continues with beautiful heads of Romanesco, a cousin of the broccoli. With a shape of a fractal (a geometric curve in a repeated pattern) in a bright chartreuse green, this stunningly beautiful floret is packed with vitamins and fiber. Romanesco can be eaten raw, almost ceviche style, marinated with copious amounts of lemon juice and salt. Roasted, and drizzled with olive oil and lemon is another option. Roast and puree it to turn it into a creamy colorful soup. If chopping and braising it with pasta and rice, it cooks quickly and evenly yet the key is to cook it just enough to soften it slightly while maintaining its bright chlorophyll green color.

All the vegetables in this pasta are just barely cooked, to help maintain the crispness and their nutrients. If you buy the Romanesco at the farmer’s markets, the greens around it, which possess a lot of fiber, are usually attached to it. Don’t discard those, mince them and use them as the base for the sauce. The addition of aromatic ginger offsets the sulfurous aroma that arises when almost any brassica is cooked, particularly broccoli related vegetables. 

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Cook Time

45 Minutes



Step 1
Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water for 2 to 3 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes then drain.
Step 2
Cut the Romanesco head into small 1-inch florets and mince the greens. Thinly slice the green onions.
Step 3
In a large shallow brazier or saucepan, over high heat, warm the olive oil and add the minced green onions and garlic. Fry for a minute or two then add the Romanesco and the greens.
Step 4
Cook on high heat for just 2 to 3 minutes, frequently stirring to get a slight char on the little florets. Add the serrano pepper, ginger, salt, and coconut milk. Bring the entire mixture to a boil and simmer for just a minute or two.
Step 5
Add the cooked drained pasta and bring the sauce to a boil, immediately turn the heat off. Do not cover or the color will change. Let the pasta rest for 5 to 7 minutes, this will help absorb the sauce.
Step 6
Finally fold in the cabbage and spinach leaves. Serve hot, drizzled with more olive oil, topped with grated cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice.

1 pound of fresh pasta, preferably radiatore 

4 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for drizzling

2 stalks of green onion

 2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 small head or half of a large head of Romanesco

2 cups of Romanesco jacket greens

1 serrano pepper minced

1 tablespoon grated unpeeled ginger

2 teaspoons salt

1 14-oz coconut milk

1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced

2 cups tightly packed spinach leaves

1 cup of grated pecorino Romano cheese

Juice of 1 lemon

Notes & Variations

  • This recipe can be adapted to use broccoli or cauliflower instead. If they do not come with their jacket greens, just add 2 more cups of spinach or other green leaves.
  • To keep the pasta totally plant based, use coconut milk only and omit the cheese or replace it with tahini or cashew butter.
  • The serrano pepper adds a slight bite to balance the creaminess of the pasta dish.
45 Min


Here are two of our favorite ways to prepare it - enjoy!

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