One-Pot Wonders

Pasta with Romanesco, Capers, and Chiles

March 21, 2021
6 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

This recipe is inspired by a pasta I had at the brilliant Il Corvo in Seattle. I'm always looking for reasons to buy lime green, fractal-tipped romanesco in the farmers market, and this is the perfect excuse. —Catherine Lamb

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head romanesco, florets sliced off and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed if packed in salt
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 14-ounce can of whole tomatoes
  • 3/4 pound tubed, ridged, or ruffled pasta, for catching the sauce
  • parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil, salting it generously.
  2. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion, stirring for 7 or so minutes until it becomes translucent and begins to caramelize . Add the garlic and the chile flakes, as well as hefty pinch of salt. Stir and cook for two minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add the capers and the golden raisins, Stir in the tomato paste, let caramelize for a minute, and then pour in the wine and stir, getting up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the sauce cook for 3 or 4 minutes, until wine is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and romanesco and cook until the sauce reduces slightly, about 10 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with the back of your spoon.
  3. Cook pasta in salted water for two minutes less than the package directions, or until it is just shy of al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Add pasta and 1/4 cup of cooking water into the sauce, stirring to combine. Cook pasta with sauce for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce turns glossy and coats the noodles. Add more pasta water if the sauce looks dry. Serve piping hot, with extra chile flakes and generous amounts of parmesan cheese.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cheryl
  • Anne-Marie
  • Catherine Lamb
    Catherine Lamb
  • JenVP

6 Reviews

JenVP September 27, 2021
This was really good. I've never eaten romanesco before, but saw some at the farmer's market and bought it on a whim. The flavors work really well together and it was a satisfying lunch.
Cheryl November 12, 2019
I appreciated this recipe! No romanesco available, so used cauliflower. Used only 8 oz of (chickpea) pasta and that seemed right to me. I liked the melding of flavors better on the second day.
tia January 9, 2018
This is excellent. I needed it to be a full meal so I cooked some chicken in the sauce. I also added a splash of red wine vinegar because I like that flavor with tomatoes. I made enough for me to eat for the week and I'm really excited about it because it is SO GOOD. I'll definitely be making it again.
xhille December 13, 2017
Yumm! A little spicy, a little sweet. Enjoyed with a glass of pino grigio, a small bowl of quick-pickled cucumber slices, and some garlic bread. A welcome treat after riding my bike home in chilly weather!
Anne-Marie October 17, 2017
Could you please explain or correct TK in ingredients and TKTK in instructions?
Catherine L. October 29, 2017
Yes, sorry! Those mean "to come" — as in I wasn't quite finished developing the recipe yet :) This version should have all the info!