This week I’m sharing with you a recipe which prompted me to Tweet last night:

There’s absolutely something to be said for spending the extra couple of $$ on good, artisanal pasta …. Fusilloni on !!!!

I’ll admit that I tend to be pretty thrifty when it comes to shopping.  Groceries are really expensive here in the islands, so I’ve got to watch it.   However, when I saw this new line of pasta at my local Gourmet Gallery Market, I couldn’t help but splurge, and gladly shelled out the $5.50.

Side-by-side, doesn’t the typical supermarket pasta look sadly pathetic next to the artisanal pasta ?!?!?!

Artisanal-Fusilloni

 

I also justified my splurge knowing how much money I save by no longer indulging in expensive cheese 🙂

And trust me when I say that if you are still a lacto-ovo vegetarian, you are NOT going to be disappointed by not having any cheese with this pasta!!

Romesco Sauce, which is a pesto of sorts, is a garlicky sauce made with roasted roma tomatoes and red bell pepper.   While the instructions below are detailed, it’s actually very easy.   Simply toast the almonds and some bread.   Roast the tomatoes, pepper and garlic.   Then puree with some spices, olive oil and veg broth to thin.    Leftovers also make a delicious sandwich spread, and it will keep in the fridge for at least a week, and also freezes well.

Romesco-Prep

 

 

Roasted Broccoli is a classic combination with Romesco Sauce, and I decided to try out a new method forwarded to me by my Mother from a friend of hers.  Something about the pungency of broccoli after it’s been roasted makes it much like an aged cheese.   And it tastes amazing with the sweet acidity of the red bell peppers.

It’s a simple dish fit for company.  I served ours with a classic vegan Caesar Salad (click for my recipe) using lettuce spears from Spencer’s garden, and a glass of cheap red wine.

Romesco-Eat1

 

I hope you dig this recipe as much as we did.    Go splurge yourself on some really good pasta, and give it a try.

Bellissimo !!!

 

Romesco-Eat2Romesco-Eat3

 

Artisanal Fusilloni w/ Roasted Red Pepper Romesco Sauce & Broccoli Crumble
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ROASTED RED PEPPER ROMESCO SAUCE:
  • 3 very large (1¼ lbs) roma tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large red bell pepper, quartered & deseeded
  • 1 head (12 cloves) garlic, peeled
  • olive oil, salt & pepper
  • ---
  • 3 small, thin slices french bread (1/2 cup crumbs)
  • ½ cup whole almonds
  • ---
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dry red wine
  • ½ teaspoons spanish paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup vegetable broth (add slowly!)
  • ----------
ROASTED BROCCOLI CRUMBLE:
  • 2 heads broccoli, florets quartered into small pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • dash salt & fresh ground pepper
  • ------
  • 1 pound bag high quality artisanal fusilloni pasta, such as Don Bruno
  • fresh basil for garnish
  • Instructions
    BROCCOLI: Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut the broccoli florets from the stalk, and chop or cut the florets into small bit sized pieces (quarters). Place florets and minced garlic in a baggie (or use the cellophane bag from the store) and gently toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place on a roasting sheet, and sprinkle with salt & fresh ground pepper. Place in pre-heated oven on the top rack, and roast for 20 minutes. When the broccoli is done, remove it from the oven, and increase the oven temp to 425°.
  • ROMESCO: Spread the tomatoes, pepper and head garlic onto a greased baking sheet. Brush the vegetables with some olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Place almonds and bread slices on a separate baking pan.
  • Get a pot of boiling water going for your pasta.
  • Place pan with almonds & bread in the oven on the top rack, and the pan with the tomatoes, peppers and onions on the bottom rack. Pull the almonds and bread after 5 minutes (they should be nicely toasted). Continue roasting the vegetables until the garlic is golden, 20-25 minutes total. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly.
  • Cook the pasta for the time indicated on the package. Place the broccoli back in the oven towards the end, for 5 more minutes, before serving.
  • ROMESCO: Crumble the toasted bread into a food processor, along with the almonds. Process until the almonds are very finely ground. Scrape the tomatoes, pepper & garlic and any juices into the food processor. Add the vinegar, red wine, paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and olive oil. Puree. Add the vegetable broth slowly, until the right consistency is achieved.
  • Toss the pasta with the sauce, and serve, topped with broccoli crumble and a sprinkling of fresh basil.