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Creamy Romanesco Pasta

This creamy pasta is made with romanesco, anchovies, raisins and pine nuts - and while it sounds like an odd combination, it actually comes together to make a delicious light yet filling family dinner.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: healthy pasta, romanesco pasta
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 439kcal
Author: Jovita | Yummy Addiction


  • 1/2 lb (225g) whole wheat penne pasta , or any other pasta of your choice
  • 1 lb (450g) romanesco
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion , finely chopped
  • 3 anchovy fillets in olive oil , drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • pinch saffron threads
  • salt and black pepper , to taste
  • grated parmesan cheese , for serving


  • Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, cut the Romanesco into small florets. Cook in a pot with salted boiling water until just tender when pierced with a fork, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked florets to a bowl filled with iced water. Reserve the cooking water.
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the onion and anchovies. Cook until just softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add the cooked Romanesco florets, bay leaf, raisins, and pine nuts. Pour in some of the reserved Romanesco cooking water enough to cover the ingredients.
  • Soak the saffron threads in a tablespoon of hot water for a couple of minutes and stir into the skillet.
  • Cook, breaking up the Romanesco with a wooden spoon and stirring, until the sauce gets creamier and more dense. It can take about 5 minutes or more. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Finally, stir in the cooked pasta. Serve sprinkled with some grated Parmesan cheese.


  1. This pasta can be made with cauliflower instead of Romanesco. Both soften down to a creamy sauce.
  2. The recipe adapted from “The Long and the Short of Pasta” by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 57.2g | Protein: 13.7g | Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 2.6mg | Sodium: 152.8mg | Sugar: 8g