Pic of Romanesco pasta

Romanesco pasta

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Vegetarian mains

Romanesco pasta

Main Serves 4 20 min
A vivid pasta dish with sharp chilli, garlic and lemon, sweet sultanas and crunchy pine nuts. This is a complex and flavourful lunch or dinner, with the added advantage that it only takes 20 minutes to prepare. It can also be made with normal broccoli or with cauliflower. Leave out the Parmesan or substitute if for another hard cheese to keep this vegetarian.

Cook's notes

We've used Parmesan in this recipe but if you are vegetarian you can use an alternative. Good vegetarian Parmesan can be difficult to get hold of; vegetarian Pecorino is often tastier.


  • 1 small to medium Romanesco cauliflower, cut into small florets (use the stalk too, thinly sliced)
  • 360g fusilli pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced on the diagonal
  • 100g pine nuts, toasted
  • 50g sultanas
  • zest of 1 and juice of ½ lemon
  • large handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • handful Parmesan, grated


Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 15 min
  • Step 1

    In a pan of boiling salted water, cook the Romanesco for 2-3 minutes, then drain and refresh in a bowl of cold water to stop any further cooking.
  • Step 2

    Drain again and keep to one side. In another pan of boiling water, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the Romanesco and fry for a couple of minutes until just starting to turn a golden colour.
  • Step 4

    Add the garlic and chilli and cook for couple of minutes more. Add the pine nuts, sultanas, drained, cooked pasta, lemon juice and zest and parsley. Toss together to combine.
  • Step 5

    Transfer to serving bowls and serve drizzled with a olive oil and some grated Parmesan.

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