Spaghetti tossed with roasted romanesco and garlicky aglio olio sauce
They've been selling huge heads of romanesco at our farmers market lately. It's a striking bright green alien-looking vegetable that's a cross between cauliflower and broccoli and tastes great roasted, steamed, or sauteed. Here it's tossed with spaghetti, a super strong aglio olio sauce made with a ton of fresh garlic, dried chiles, and anchovies and topped with crispy gremolata breadcrumbs. The anchovies completely melt into the sauce and impart a wonderful salty umami flavor that's not at all fishy or overpowering. It's a simple, homey dish that makes a great weeknight meal and is just as good (if not better) reheated for leftovers the next day.
Note: If you can't find romanesco, this dish would be just as good made with broccoli or cauliflower.
- Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Broccoli Cream Pesto
- Spicy Broccoli & Onion Pizza
- Parmesan Roasted Romanesco
Spaghetti Aglio Olio with Romanesco:
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
- Meanwhile, remove the core from 1 large head of romanesco and cut into bite-size florets.
- Toss the romanesco with 1 tbsp. olive oil and a pinch of salt and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, turning with a spatula once, or until the florets are tender and caramelized in some places.
- While the romanesco is cooking, add a large pinch of salt and 1/2 lb. of spaghetti to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.
- In a large skillet, add 3 tbsp. olive oil, 4-6 thinly sliced cloves of garlic, 2 crumbled chile de arbol,* and 2 anchovy fillets.
- Place the skillet over medium-low heat and cook until the garlic is fragrant and soft and the anchovies have melted, about 5 minutes. This is the aglio olio sauce.
- In another small skillet, melt 1 tbsp. butter and add in 1/4 c. breadcrumbs.**
- Toast the breadcrumbs until golden and crispy, then turn off the heat and stir in the zest of 1/2 lemon and 1 tbsp. minced parsley. Set aside.
- Add the romanesco to the aglio oil and toss to combine.
- Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 c. pasta cooking water, and add the pasta to the skillet. Add some of the pasta water to moisten.
- Toss the pasta together with the sauce and romanesco for a minute or two.
- Divide the pasta onto plates and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
*Can substitute for 2 large pinches of red chili flakes.
**To make breadcrumbs, tear a piece of stale baguette into pieces, then pulse in a blender or food processor until ground into crumbs. Or use store bought panko breadcrumbs.