I can’t tell you how much I dig this—I totally look forward to Wednesdays now. And have been having so much fun challenging myself to use everything in my haul each week. It kind of forces your hand as a cook. Like this week, when we discovered a gorgeous chartreuse sci-fi head of romanesco. Sometimes called Romanesco Broccoli or Romanesco Cauliflower, it’s a form of cauliflower with a slightly nutty flavor. And it’s beautiful beyond belief.
The conical florets remind me of Madonna’s Blond Ambition Tour. I mean, if Gaultier were going to design a vegetable, surely it would be le romanesco, non?
I’d like to think that Jean-Paul would approve of this romanesco pasta creation, which I’d like to humbly say was something of an inspiration. And I realized as I was serving it that—added bonus—it’s vegan, unless of course you liberally sprinkle it with shaved Pecorino Romano as we did.
Bucatini with Romanesco, Mint and Capers
1 head of romanesco
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons red chili flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped capers
1 lb bucatini, cooked to desired doneness
Salt and pepper, to taste
Break off romanesco florets and soak in ice water for about 10 minutes, to preserve color.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil. In a separate skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat. Sauté minced garlic, red pepper flakes, mint and capers for 30 seconds to a minute.
Remove from heat. When water is boiling, drain romanesco from ice bath and add to boiling water for 3-5 minutes, until al dente. (Don’t overcook—you want a little texture from the florets.) Drain and toss in skillet with garlic and mint mixture.
Mix with pasta, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.