Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Romanesco Broccoli (Week 3) and "the road to hell"....

Some say "the road to hell is paved with good intention".  This is my experience with that cute table decoration, the Romanesco broccoli.  It started out as the table decoration, then it was the "show and tell" item when my parents were visiting.  Later it ventured in to the "let me try it - I'm brave" realm when my 26 year old stuck his head in the fridge .......now it MUST be dealt with....and so begins the road to hell.

Here is what "good intentions" looked like (thank you, Rachel Ray):

Romanesco Broccoli and Rigatoni


  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 head romanesco broccoli 
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2/3 cup grated pecorino-romano cheese (a couple of generous handfuls), plus more to pass around the table
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a couple of ladlefuls of the pasta cooking water.
  2. While the pasta is working, in a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in the wine for 1 minute, then the chicken stock. Add the broccoli, lemon peel, rosemary and crushed red pepper; season with salt and black pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. In a serving bowl, toss the pasta, reserved pasta cooking water, cooked vegetables, cheese and nuts for a minute. Season with salt and black pepper and serve, passing extra cheese at the table.

Where is what happened to my good intentions:

Romanesco Natural

1 head of Romanesco broccoli, washed, leaves, bottom and core removed
1/4 cup shaved Romano cheese
Drizzle of olive oil
Sea salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Put in the microwave safe pan, splash it with a bit of water, cover and microwave for 4 minutes.  Drain, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle seasonings and top with cheese.  Serve......natural perfection.  Simple and delicious.  Great taste.  Texture like cauliflower but a hint of the green flavor.

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