Pasta with prosciutto, spinach and Romanesco

I am utterly delighted by fruits and vegetables that excite my senses with their newness. New smells, tastes, looks and texture, or a departure from the ordinary. I am also excited by new meats, grains and such, but there’s something lovely about a fruit, vegetable or seed. I can see it entire, instead as of a byproduct.

So it should not be a surprise that I promised an unusual addition for tonight’s dinner… notice that green shape in the background? Romanesco is a gloriously odd shaped cauliflower that has been mixed with broccoli, but which essentially tastes like cauliflower.

Isn’t it lovely?! But I’ll try not to keep waxing poetic about my odd passion. Instead I’ll leave you with the recipe for pasta with prosciutto and spinach, another adaptation from Food and Wine’s Quick Italian from Scratch. The pasta is hearty, with bright spinach and salty warm prosciutto, with the tasty Romanesco on the side.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts (I forgot these tonight but they’re delicious)
  • 1/4 lb sliced prosciutto
  • 10 ounces or just some handfuls of spinach
  • 1 lb pasta
  • Grated Parmesan to taste (optional)
  • One head of Romanesco

Directions:

  1. Optionally toast the pine nuts in a small frying pan with a little bit of oil, or in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Boil water and cook the pasta until it is done, then drain most of the water.
  3. Boil water and cook the Romanesco, or steam it if you prefer – treat it like cauliflower.
  4. Add the spinach and prosciutto to the pasta, and stir until warmed through.

Bon appétit!

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