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Roasted Romanesco Penne with Lemon and Chillies(Vegetarian, Vegan)

Yields4 ServingsPrep Time10 minsCook Time35 minsTotal Time45 mins

If you've never tried Romanesco, you are really missing out. Since first discovering it 3 years ago, I fell in love. I even grew it for the first time in my garden last summer. It is a cruciferous vegetable that is in the same family as cauliflower, broccoli and the like. If you can't find any in your area, substitute cauliflower. This recipe was inspired by a flash sale at my local food co-op on organic romanesco. Flash sales are a great way to incorporate seasonal produce into your meals. This pasta dish couldn't be easier to make and it happens to be dairy free(Vegan). I added locally grown hazelnuts for texture and taste. Pasta gets a bad rap. Personally I love pasta. If you chose your pasta wisely, looking for high fibre, whole-grain/legume-based/grain-free high protein pasta, it isn't something you need to avoid. It can be healthy, nourishing and oh so satisfying. If you must avoid pasta(i.e whole 30/keto choose to make this with homemade vegetable noodles, kelp noodles or Konjac(mushroom) noodles.

 1 Large Head Romanesco or 1 large head Cauliflower
 Avocado oil for drizzling
 Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
 ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive oil plus extra for drizzling over pasta
 2 Shallots, finely sliced
 4 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
 1 Large Red Chilli or 1 large pinch dried red chili flakes
 2 Lemons, zested and juiced
 ½ cup Pasta Water
 1 Large bunch Italian(flat-leaf) Parsley
 Sea Salt to taste and to salt pasta cooking water
 ½ cup Raw Hazelnuts
 1 227 gram (8 ounce) Package Gluten free or Grain Free Penne

Preheat your oven to 400 F . Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the florets from the romanesco/ cauliflower and place on your baking sheet. Drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes or so until golden brown and it has a little firmness to it still(you don't want mushy vegetables) While your Romanesco roasts, place a large pot of water to boil.


Place your olive oil in a large saucepan and bring the pan up to medium heat. Add your shallots along with a sprinkle of sea salt and sauté for about 15-20 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes or so. Add the chillies, then the lemon zest and juice. Add in your roosted romanesco/cauliflower.


Toast your hazelnuts( or nut or seed of choice) either in a dry saucepan till toasted or in the oven at 325 F for 5-7 minutes. Allow to cool and once cool, rub a handful of hazelnuts at a time between your palms to remove most of the skin. As the pasta gets closer to being ready, scoop out about 1/2 cup of the salted pasta cooking water. Add it to your vegetables and then add the cooked pasta.


Season with sea salt. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve each serving with the toasted hazelnuts. Drizzle with more olive oil and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 1/2 cups

Servings 0