• 1 large head Romanesco or cauliflower, approx. 1-1.5 lbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon oil, preferable high smoke point oil, like avocado
  • Grinding of fresh salt and pepper (optional)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup leek, or shallot, or sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup vegetable broth of pasta water
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced lengthwise, a bit more if desired
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, roughly chopped
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes, amount depends on your taste for heat
  • 1 heaping cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped. Divided use
  • 5-6 ounces GF linguini or spaghetti. For extra protein, use lentil or quinoa pasta
  • Garnish with Yummy Vegan Parmesan, see below (optional)

Inspired by, taken from Alice Waters’, The Art of Simple Food
Serves 2-4 depending on appetite and accompaniments

Preheat the oven to 450 F with a rack in the center position. 

Trim and discard the base of the Romanesco or cauliflower and cut in half, then quarters. Standing each quarter upright and holding your knife at an angle, trim the florets from the core. Most of the florets will fall off, or can be separated easily. Florets should be no larger than an inch in diameter. Cut any larger ones in half.

Place the florets on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spread the oil in your palms and rub on the florets. Grind over a small amount of salt and pepper if desired. Distribute the florets cut side down into an even layer, making sure that the florets aren’t touching. Roast 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway, or until caramelized and tender.

When the Romanesco is nearly finished bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Have all sauce ingredients ready to cook the sauce. Start pasta and begin the sauce.

Heat a medium skillet, non-stick if possible, to medium high.  Add the chopped leek or other onion. Stir and add a tablespoon or so of broth when it begins to stick. Continue to do this in order to deglaze pan and lightly brown the onion. Add the garlic, and a bit more broth and cook 1-2 minutes more.  Add the olives, capers, and red pepper flakes to the pan and ‘saute’ with a bit more broth for an additional minute or so until warm. Add the roasted Romanesco or cauliflower and half of the parsley, tossing gently to mix. May add a 1/4-1/2 of the pasta water to the sauce when pasta is nearly done to make the sauce more moist. The starchiness also gives a nice consistency to the sauce. Taste for salt and pepper.

When pasta is al dente, drain, reserving 1 cup of starchy cooking water in case you want more for the sauce.  Add pasta back into the pan and add the vegetable sauce mixture tossing to combine. Add more pasta water if desired.

Serve immediately and garnish with chopped parsley and vegan parmesan.

Yummy Vegan Parmesan 

Delicious on spaghetti, zucchini noodles, popcorn, pizza, potatoes, vegetables, and more

3/4 c mixed nuts/seeds—I used a mix of brazil nut, walnut, cashew, & sunflower seeds
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoons garlic granules
1/2 teaspoons onion granules
1/2 teaspoons sea salt or 1 teaspoon Benson’s Table Tasty Salt substitute
2 tablespoons rolled oats or hemp hearts
1 teaspoon dried parsley, or may use 1/2 teaspoon each oregano and basil
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Pinch ground black pepper
Bend all in a food processor or blender until well ground but don’t let clump.
Keep refrigerated.  Will last several months.