The Roman

Romanesco and Basil Pesto Pasta


This pasta is delicious because Romanesco has a nutty flavour and is crunchier than broccoli and cauliflower when sautéed.

The texture contrast of the soft pasta with the crunchy vegetable and nuts makes for a perfect mouthful every time.


  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 head romanesco or broccoli, broken into florets
  • salt and pepper
  • 250 grams spinach pasta (or pasta substitute of your choice)
  • 1 generous handful baby spinach
  • ¼ cup basil pesto
  • olive oil
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • grated or shaved parmesan cheese for serving
  • 40 grams pine nuts, toasted


Bring a medium-sized saucepan of salted water to a boil.

In a medium-sized frying pan over high heat, add the coconut oil. Add the Romanesco florets and lightly sauté until golden brown. You still want the crunch so don’t overdo it. Season to taste and set aside.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 8 minutes or until al dente. Once ready, drain and return to the saucepan.

Add the spinach, basil pesto and a good glug of olive oil to the pasta. Cover with the lid for 1 minute, allowing the steam to wilt the spinach. Add the Romanesco along with the lemon zest and juice. Toss together until well combined and season to taste.

Serve topped with Parmesan and the freshly toasted pine nuts.