Spaghetti tossed with beautiful roasted Romanesco cauliflower pesto for a fresh, light and savoury pasta dish.
If you love pasta try our Vegetarian Mushroom Carbonara!
This Roasted Romanesco Cauliflower Pesto Spaghetti recipe is so easy and has so few ingredients it’s truly amazing what delicious results it yields! The recipe uses an entire head of roasted cauliflower is blended into the sauce. This means the creaminess comes mostly from a vegetable rather than cream or oil!
Romanesco cauliflower (also known as Romanesco broccoli) comes from Italy where it has been grown since the 16th century. It’s still not all that common, but you do see it in a few dishes.
The advantage of Romanesco cauliflower over the regular one, apart from the obvious win in the beauty department, is its lack of the slightly bitter taste the white cauliflower has, which makes it far more popular with children. Instead it is a bit nutty and pleasantly delicate.
Roasted Romanesco cauliflower pesto
If you love pesto this Romanesco pesto sauce will be your best friend! It couldn’t be easier, just roast cauliflower and then blend all pesto ingredients in a food processor.
My only word of advice with homemade sauce is taste it for seasoning and add SALT!! My first try at making my own pesto was not a success. I learned that is because I hugely undersalted it. Yes, it’s that simple.
To make this pesto you will need:
- Olive oil
- Toasted walnuts
- Vegetarian hard cheese (made with vegetal rennet)
- Fresh basil
- Roasted Romanesco cauliflower florets
Once the cauliflower is roasted add the cauliflower, walnuts, cheese and basil to a food processor and run until it is all nice and smooth. Leave the motor running and pour the olive in through the shoot.
The pesto will become lovely and smooth. Give the pesto a taste and add salt, lemon juice and lemon zest to taste. Combine all of the ingredients by running the processor for a few more seconds.
Toss the pesto with cooked spaghetti and you are ready to eat!
Looking for more light and fresh pasta? How about Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Pasta!
- 1 head of Romanesco cauliflower
- 150ml / 2/3 cup olive oil
- 30g toasted walnuts
- 30g vegetarian hard cheese, cubed
- large bunch of fresh basil
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper
- 1lb spaghetti
- Preheat the oven to 210C/420F.
- Core Romanesco cauliflower head and break it into small florets, toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil and salt and roast in the oven for 15 minutes until cauliflower softened and looks slightly charred.
- While cauliflower is being roasted, toast walnuts on a dry pan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
- Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring water to a boil, add 1 tsp of salt and cook spaghetti al dente according to the package directions.
- In the meantime combine ⅔ of roasted cauliflower florets, walnuts, anchovies, basil and cubed hard cheese cheese in a food processor and process until finely ground.
- With the motor still running add olive oil through a shoot until the pesto is smooth. Stop the motor and taste the pesto sauce, add more salt, lemon juice and lemon zest and process for a few more seconds.
- Drain the spaghetti and toss with the Romanesco cauliflower pesto sauce and reserved roasted Romanesco cauliflower florets. Serve with extra grated hard cheese.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 611Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 128mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 9gSugar: 8gProtein: 13g