Pasta with Romanesco and Sausage (Pasta con broccolo romano e salsiccia)

Last Saturday I hosted another wine dinner: 6 courses with 2 wines accompanying each dish for a group of 15 friends. If you’d like to see some photos of the event and read about what I served, visit my page on Facebook. (And while you are there, like my Facebook page and/or promote it among your Facebook friends. Thank you!)

After all that cooking it was nice to prepare something simple and tasty, the kind of pasta dish that takes only as long as it takes to cook the pasta. Romanesco is not always available like its cousins broccoli and cauliflower, but I like it a lot better because it has such a nice but mild taste and it looks very pretty. I had picked one up when I was shopping for the wine dinner, and when I was thinking of what to do with it I remembered a recent post on Jo’s My Home Food That’s Amore of pasta with romanesco and sausage. I made it almost exactly like her recipe, and it was very nice. Thanks, Jo, I will definitely add this to my repertoire of easy pasta dishes.

You can also prepare this with broccoli or cauliflower, but it is best with romanesco (called broccolo romano in Italian). The quality of the sausage is also important: this is best with Italian sausage that is not too spicy hot but does have a lot of flavor.


For 2 servings as piatto unico

400 grams (.9 lb) romanesco florets

150 grams (.33 lb) penne or other short pasta

150 grams (.33 lb) Italian sausage

60 grams (2 oz) freshly grated pecorino cheese

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt. I like to cook the romanesco about 10-12 minutes, so it is cooked through but al dente. The penne pasta I used also needed 11 minutes according to the package instructions, so I added the pasta…

…and the romanesco florets at the same time and set the timer for 11 minutes. If your pasta takes longer than 11 minutes according to package instructions, then add the pasta first and the romanesco 11 minutes before the pasta will be ready. If your pasta takes less than 11 minutes, add the romanesco first and the pasta later.

While the pasta was cooking, I heated the olive oil in a frying pan, and fried the whole garlic clove in the oil to flavor the oil. This works best by tilting the pan. Do not allow the garlic too become too brown.

Take the sausage meat out of its casing and chop it. Add it to the garlic-flavored oil.

Brown the sausage meat over high heat.

When the meat is starting to sizzle, turn the heat to low and add about 80 ml (1/3 cup) of the pasta cooking water. You want just enough water to make a ‘sauce’ with the cheese later on.

Scrape with a wooden spatula to get all the browned bits into the sauce.

The pasta and romanesco should be done about now.

Drain them, and add to the sausage.

Add most of the pecorino and freshly ground black pepper.

Toss to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve on preheated plates, sprinkled with the remaining pecorino and some more freshly ground black pepper.


Gado gado is a fun name for a tasty Indonesian dish of a vegetable salad with warm peanut sauce. The recipe also contains a link to my recipe for homemade peanut sauce.


16 thoughts on “Pasta with Romanesco and Sausage (Pasta con broccolo romano e salsiccia)

  1. Delicious! Though I’ve yet to try romanesco yet. Stefan, just last week I made a a similar dish, though I used kale and conchiglie. The mix of vegetable with pasta and sausage makes a wonderful dish. I will definitely follow your lead and pick up some romanesco the next time I see one. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kale with salsiccia is a good idea! I might even do a Dutch fusion with pasta, kale and Dutch smoked pork sausage. (The usual dish is kale and mashed potatoes with said sausage.)


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