Traditional recipes

Pasta with Roasted Romanesco and Capers

Pasta with Roasted Romanesco and Capers

Broccoli would be just as good in this pasta with recipe, as would diced winter squash such as butternut or acorn.


  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil; plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers, patted dry, divided
  • ½ medium romanesco or cauliflower, cored, cut into small florets
  • 8 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for serving
  • 12 ounces lumaconi (snail shells) or other medium shell pasta
  • 2 ounces aged Asiago cheese or Pecorino, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 425°. Cook almonds, ¼ cup oil, and 1 Tbsp. capers in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling pan occasionally, until capers burst and almonds are golden brown and smell toasty, about 5 minutes. Transfer almonds and capers with a slotted spoon to a small bowl; season with salt. Let cool. Toss romanesco with oil from saucepan on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Roast, tossing halfway through, until golden brown and tender, 20–25 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Add garlic, ½ tsp. red pepper flakes, and remaining 1 Tbsp. capers and cook, stirring often, until garlic is golden, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook until liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes.

  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, about 3 minutes less than package directions.

  • Using a spider or a slotted spoon, transfer pasta to pot with garlic; add 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Reduce heat to medium and cook, tossing often, until pasta is al dente and liquid is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add ¼ cup pasta cooking liquid, then gradually add cheese, tossing until melted and dissolved into a luxurious, glossy sauce. Remove from heat; add butter and toss to combine. Toss in romanesco.

  • Divide pasta among bowls. Top with fried almonds and capers and more red pepper flakes and drizzle with oil.

,Photos by Michael Graydon Nikole Herriott

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 720 Fat (g) 38 Saturated Fat (g) 10 Cholesterol (mg) 30 Carbohydrates (g) 72 Dietary Fiber (g) 2 Total Sugars (g) 4 Protein (g) 17 Sodium (mg) 270Reviews SectionGreat base recipe that is easily adaptable for what’s in your pantry. We used pine nuts and enjoyed the flavor profile with the capers and romanesco. Yum!OkieEmilyOklahoma06/23/20Had to cook dinner for a vegetarian crew and this was surprisingly good! Almost doubled the cheese and used toasted pine nuts instead of almonds and loved it!This was absolutely divine and exceeded my expectations. I was looking for a recipe given I ONLY had cauliflower in the fridge, and some capers. I didn't expect such a . complex dish could result from just a few ingredients.AnonymousSingapore11/20/18I didn't have very high expectations for this based upon other reviews, but I really liked it, enough to go back for a 2nd bowl even though I was already stuffed. I used a whole head of romanesco, and while baking the romanesco, I also baked two slices of bacon on their own bit of tin foil, and then crumbled them up and added to the mix of garlic and capers in the white wine sauce. Other people talked about adding shrimp, but I liked the bacon because it was just a little bit of meat but added a lot of flavor. I would make it again and make it the same way.AnonymousPortland, Oregon08/15/18

Spaghetti Puttanesca (Spaghetti With Capers, Olives, and Anchovies) Recipe

Why It Works

  • Using a low volume of water for the pasta increases the water's starchiness, which will help to bind the sauce.
  • Finishing the pasta in the sauce coats each noodle with flavor.

"Puttanesca" literally translates to "in the style of prostitutes," supposedly because the pungent aromas of garlic, anchovies, capers, and olives tossed with pasta were how Neapolitan sex workers would lead customers to their doors. This is one of those stories that seem, in the words of Douglas Adams, apocryphal or at least wildly inaccurate. That said, it's a fitting title—puttanesca packs an aromatic punch and then some.


  • 1 large head Romanesco, trimmed
  • 1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed with the flat blade of a knife and coarsely chopped
  • 2 large salted or oil-packed anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small dried red chile pepper, or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 Cup coarsely chopped pitted black olives, preferably Gaeta
  • 2 Tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Pound pennette or similar short, stubby pasta, such as lumache, garganelli, or fusilli
  • 1 Cup freshly grated grana padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/3 Cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Cup toasted bread crumbs

Easy roasted broccoli pasta with olives and lemon

Here is my first pasta recipe of 2021 and it’s a good one. A gorgeous easy roasted broccoli pasta with olives, capers and lemons. It has everything you need to create an UMAMI flavour. In other words, your mouth can’t take the sexy vibes you’re enjoying with every mouthful. I know that probably sounds naughty, but I can guarantee you won’t be able to put your fork down.

What creates an umami effect is usually a combination of different flavours, which will tantalise your tastebuds. The saltiness from the olives and anchovies are balanced out with the acidic capers and citrusy lemons. Then we have the flavoursome fats olive oil, and the slightly salty nutty parmesan. Altogether, these ingredients balance each other out and are a match made in heaven.

Plus it’s full of veggies and goodness. So not only will it taste banging but it’s good for your body and soul. How can you say no?!

This year, I really want to help those of you who don’t see themselves as foodies but still want to be able to cook delicious meals for themselves, friends and family. With the current pandemic, so many of us have to cook for survival rather than pleasure. Cooking for some has become a burden, a chore and you may find it difficult to cook anything new and delicious.

Therefore, as well as sharing all the recipe steps, I will also share tips for this easy roasted broccoli pasta dish, where applicable, to help you become a confident cook. I have also listed the equipment. Hopefully, in due time, you will be BELIEVING IN YOUR OWN SAUCE. You deserve to.

Spaghettini with Roasted Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, and Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs

Recently I was asked to do a fun interview with my friends over at The National Pasta Association (I mean, really, how could I possibly resist?) all about my love for food, my favorite summer ingredients, and what I love most about blogging.

You can read the entire interview here, but as I sat at my kitchen counter, cursor blinking on the laptop in front of me, it got me thinking. Why haven’t I shared any pasta dishes this summer?

Ones that are easy, require little time at the stove and minimal ingredients, and are my go-to recipes when I’m looking for a fast, delicious, and satisfying meal that works for all occasions.

This spaghettini with roasted tomatoes, basil, and toasted breadcrumbs is my answer to that question. I could probably eat it everyday. Scratch that. I could definitely eat it everyday.

The colors, the simplicity, the fresh flavors, everything! Comforting and seasonal. My kind of meal.

I can’t decide what I love more about this pasta. The roasted tomatoes (just burst and caramelized), the fresh basil (basil is basil and nothing comes close to comparison in my mind), or the crispy garlic breadcrumbs!

Can we talk about the toasted breadcrumbs for a second?

I’m tempted to say that you should just plan on making twice the amount of breadcrumbs than the recipe calls for, because it will be extremely difficult to share that stuff.

Oh my gosh, the breadcrumbs.

Does it sound redundant to top pasta with breadcrumbs? It’s kind of like putting bread on top of bread, I know. But, but! Once you do, your pasta game will never be the same ever again. Allow me to be dramatic for a second: it’s kind of life-altering.

They aren’t just any toasted breadcrumbs.

They are actually panko breadcrumbs flavored with fresh garlic and sautéed finely chopped shallot! You can make them in under 5 minutes in a skillet on your stove, so don’t skip this step.

Also, try not to eat them out of the bowl, because you are going to want every last crumb of them for your pasta serving.

And the tomatoes? I use a variety of small multi-colored tomatoes (you could use larger cherry tomatoes, if you can’t find something similar) that are readily available at most grocery stores.

Just drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and add a few smashed garlic cloves, and roast for about 20 minutes in the oven until they begin to collapse and burst.

This dish can be thrown together in less than 45 minutes (30 minutes, if you’re quick!) and is easy enough for a weeknight dinner, but sophisticated and impressive enough to serve on a special occasion!

My new favorite go-to summer pasta!

If you prefer not to use a sausage, there are a couple of alternatives you can try:

Pancetta (in cubes) – the sweet type, for a milder taste.
Speck (in cubes) – this gives a smokier taste to the plate and a different bite. If using speck, I recommend using red pepper flakes to add a bit of heath

Anochovies and capers – nice and salty, make sure you don’t go overboard with salt and taste as you go since both anchovies and capers will add a good bit of saltiness to the dish

Roasted pine nuts – a lovely way to add bite and a nutty flavour to a vegetarian version of this dish

Spicy Roasted Romanesco with Lemon and Capers

Confession time: While I actually love vegetables (hi, Mom!), I tend to get in a rut and eat the same ones over and over again. Although the old standbys (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, kale, collards, Brussels) have a definite season, here in northern California, they’re always around in grocery stores. (Which I’m not complaining about, of course.)

Romanesco, though, is different. It’s a rebel that only shows up a couple of times a year. Based on a quick google search, the season for romanesco is late summer. But based on the bright green spindly heads that are popping up all over, it appears to be in season now, at least somewhere within a reasonable distance from San Francisco.

Whether it’s google or real life that’s correct, I’m happy to have it around. It might only be because it’s not around long enough for me to bore of it, but I think it’s my most favorite.

It’s definitely my favorite to photograph.

Normally, when I make this photogenic veggie, I simply roast it until caramelized and tender, and sprinkle it with sea salt. If you want to keep things simple, you can absolutely leave it at that. But for the sake of posting a recipe with a little more… oomph, I dressed this one up with some heat, brininess and tartness.

For those of you who have passed by romanesco due to it’s resemblance to an alien and are wondering what it tastes like: It tastes like a cross between broccoli and cauliflower. I, however, like it more than both of those things.

A few simple ingredients are all you need.

A little char gives romanesco some great flavor.

Spicy Roasted Romanesco with Lemon and Capers

Prep time: 5 minutes | cook time: 20 minutes | serves: 4

1 head romanesco, cut into florets
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon capers, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper

GARLIC BUTTER pasta recipe

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For this recipe you’ll need:.
200gr spaghetti.
4 garlic cloves.
1tsp garlic salt.
4tbsp vegan butter.
1tbsp olive oil.
1tbsp fresh or dried parsley.
2tsp chili flakes.
salt and pepper.
vegan parmesan cheese for topping.
save 3tbsp of the pasta water.
Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Save 3tbsp of the pasta water to use in the sauce. For the sauce add the butter in a pan and melt on low heat. Mince the garlic and add this to the melted butter. Cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Then add the garlic salt, parsley, chili flakes, the saved pasta water and olive oil. Cook this for 2 minutes on low heat. Then turn off the heat and add the cooked pasta. Mix everything until all the pasta is coated in the sauce and top it with some more chili flakes, salt and pepper to taste and some vegan parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
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Recipes: Creamy Truffle Pasta with Roasted Romanesco

If you hadn’t guessed by now from my last name, I’m Italian. Okay, I’m part Italian – part Portuguese. I’m just starting to explore my Portuguese roots more, but have always had a clear connection to Italian side via our culinary traditions.

Pasta of some sort was always a staple in my house growing up. My dad taught me our family’s “secret sauce” recipe when I still had to stand on a stool to see into the pot on the stove. He showed me how to sweat the onions, how to balance the blend pureed and chopped tomatoes for the perfect texture, and what special ingredient (hint: fennel seeds) made our sauce so special – shh don’t tell anyone! We even had a hand crank pasta maker that we’d press our own pasta with on the rare occasion my dad was really feeling inspired.

But typically, it was the boxed spaghetti flash cooked in a pot of boiling water and loaded with the family red sauce. Or that kids variation with spaghetti covered in melted butter, salt and parmesan cheese…remember that one? I have some serious childhood memories around long days spent playing outside until we were completely exhausted and coming inside to scarf down big bowls of buttery pasta!

This recipe is the adult spin off of that rich, cheesy pasta I used to eat as a kid. The grown up, gluten-free version uses my favorite kelp noodles coated in a creamy white truffle sauce made from steamed cauliflower, soaked sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, caramelized onions, shallots and white truffle oil. Roasted romanesco, chopped kalamata olives, peppery arugula and fresh herbs finish this dish off. I could eat this everyday.

To stock my pantry with odd and curious oils and spices, Fine Food Specialists has become a new go-to resource, with everything from the truffle oil in this recipe to fennel pollen (hint to a new recipe coming your way!). Bookmark this site when you’re in need of a unique ingredient you can’t find locally.


1 head romanesco
½ lemon
olive oil
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Tear the romanesco by hand into smaller pieces. Toss in olive, salt & pepper and a little squeeze of lemon juice. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until romanesco is tender on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from oven and toss in the pasta.

Truffle Sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 large shallot
2 cups chopped cauliflower
2 cups sunflower seeds, soaked 2 hours
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp white truffle oil

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent and lightly golden. Add the chopped cauliflower and cover pot with lid to steam, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender and add the remaining ingredients. Puree until creamy smooth. Store in an airtight glass container until ready to use.

1 package kelp noodles, soaked in hot water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup fresh oregano leaves, torn
½ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
½ cup kalamata olives, chopped
1 cup fresh arugula or spinach

In a large bowl, add the package of kelp noodles and cover with hot water + a teaspoon of baking soda. Soak for 15 minutes to soften the noodles. Drain the water and rinse well, set aside until ready to use. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent and lightly golden. Add the kelp noodles, 1/2 cup or more of truffle sauce, the chopped herbs and olives to lightly heat until warm. Transfer to bowl and toss in the roasted romanesco and fresh greens. Serve hot!

Love this recipe and others?It’s the Saveur 2015 Food Blog Awards and the polls are open for nominations this week! If my blog or other inspiring bloggers out there have effected positive change in your life, please take some time to nominate us and show a little love for our work. I’m hoping for “Best Use of Video” nomination to share the love with my friends at Choate House who helped me bring to life my Vidya Seasonal Kitchen culinary lifestyle videos!