Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Romanesco, Meyer Lemon, Pine Nut, and Green Garlic pasta

Spring in California is short and not as defined as spring on the East Coast. No long, snowy winter being broken by crocus blossoms but a slow and subtle transition into warmer weather and longer days. Blink, and it's gone. But spring does happen in California; for few weeks, fruiting trees will bloom white and pink flowers, daffodils will come up, and green garlic can be seen at your local farmer's market.

To me, nothing quite says spring in California like the delicate, slightly sweet flavor of green garlic.

I love this recipe because it combines winter produce (romanesco and Meyer lemon) with spring's green garlic--It's like the two seasons are saying hello!--The nutty flavor the the pine nuts and slightly charred romanesco perfectly compliment the sweetness of the meyer lemon and green garlic.

Recipe: Romanesco, Meyer Lemon, Pine Nut, and Green Garlic pasta

1 head of Romanesco, chopped into bite size pieces
Zest of one Meyer Lemon
1 Green garlic, thinly sliced, but not quite minced
3 Cloves garlic (not green!) minced
1 T Pine Nuts
1 lb Pasta (I use GF Tinkyada spaghetti)
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated and divided

Large pot
Cast iron pan
Small, heat safe vessel
Cheese grater
Pasta folk
Wooden spoon


  1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil; add pasta. Continue to stir, especially if using GF pasta, to make sure it doesn't clump with your pasta fork. 
  2. In the cast iron pan, heat the oil and the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the minced garlic over medium to low heat. When the pan becomes fragrant, add the chopped romanesco. Stir every once and a while with your wooden spoon but let the romanesco get charred in a few places. Once the romanesco is warm, but not yet soft, add the green garlic and lower heat. 
  3. Toast the pine nuts; you can do this in a small pan on the stove or in the toaster spread across a pan. Be careful not to burn--you want them brown, not black. 
  4. Once the pasta is almost al dente, scoop out two cups of pasta water in your small, heat safe vessel and drain the pasta. By this point, the romanesco, garlic, and green garlic should be cooked (the romanesco should be soft enough for a fork to go through). Turn off heat. 
  5. Pour the drained pasta into the cast iron pan, add some of the reserved pasta water, and half the parmesan cheese. Stir the pasta into the romanesco mixture, add pine nuts and a little more reserved pasta water, and turn heat on low, continuing to stir. You will cook the pasta to al dente in the pasta water, romanesco, and cheese mixture. Eventually, a slightly creamy "sauce" should coat the pasta. Turn off heat, distribute between bowls, and top with the remaining parmesan cheese. 

No comments:

Post a Comment