Romesco sauce is wonderful in pasta! Made in the blender in minutes…easy, healthy…with ingredients you can easily stock in your pantry. I really think romesco is a pantry recipe at its best. Italian sausage and a whole lot of roasted cauliflower flavour bomb the pasta in such a great way. For this dish, I like to use orecchiette which are shaped like little bowls. Something to collect all of that goodness.
We’ve been on a bit of a romesco kick lately, and I ain’t mad about it. It all started with the Beans Romesco I did a few weeks ago which I loved for so many reasons. Since it only takes a few minutes to make romesco, we’ve had it in our fridge pretty much consistently since. It’s great on eggs, potatoes, any sort of bean, chickpeas, baby food (Wilder will eat ANYTHING with romesco)…Dan has done some pretty funky batchelor meals with it, too. Oh! I also used it as a base for meat pizza and everyone was asking what in the world I put on it to make it so delicious! I know there are more uses for it which I must explore! Anyways, back to this pasta…
I love how this pasta meal seems so dynamic, yet is so quick and easy to make. Impressive enough to serve to guests, yet could easily be a weeknight meal. I’m thinking…if you wanted to avoid pasta, you could always ditch it and just use a whole lot more cauliflower. Yes! This, I will have to remember!Print
4 Italian sausage links, casing removed
1 package pasta (see note)
1 head of cauliflower, broken into small florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large roasted red bell peppers (see note)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup almonds, lightly toasted
1/4 cup tomato puree or canned tomatoes
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Grated parmesan, fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt and fresh ground pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking pan, ensuring the florets are spaced out for optimal browning. Roast until very brown, about 25 minutes.
Heat a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Crumble the sausage into small pieces in the pan using a spatula. Continue to cook until sausage is cooked through. Set aside.
To make the romesco sauce; add red bell peppers, garlic, almonds, tomatoes, sherry vinegar, paprika, and cayenne to a blender or food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the oil. Process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cook pasta noodles according to the instructions on the package. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
Return the noodles to the pot over medium-low heat, along with the reserved pasta water, romesco sauce, and cooked sausage. Stir constantly for 2-4 minutes, until the sauce is heated through and thickened somewhat. Stir in the cauliflower. Garnish with parmesan cheese and/or thyme and serve immediately.
For this type of pasta, I like to use orecchiette. Any sort of hearty pasta such as penne, medium-large shells, pappardelle would also be great.
I like to use jarred roasted red bell peppers here especially if peppers aren’t in season. In the world of prepared jarred foods, I love roasted peppers because the flavour and nutrition is not compromised and they are affordable.
Keywords: pasta, romesco, italian, spanish, sauasage, cauliflower, quick, easy, healthy-ish