The main content
Romanesco Broccoli, Broccoli or Cauliflower Pasta with Ricotta Cheese

Romanesco Broccoli, Broccoli or Cauliflower Pasta with Ricotta Cheese


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (if you don't use the wine, add an additional 1/2 cup chicken stock)

  • 1 head Romanesco broccoli (Roman cauliflower), broccoli or cauliflower, cut into small florets and stems thinly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

  • 1 box mezze rigatoni, such as Barilla brand, or other short cut pasta, regular or whole grain

  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese or sheep’s milk ricotta cheese

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped

  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Heat the EVOO in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the butter and melt. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and season with salt, pepper and the bay leaf. Stir and cook for 8-10 minutes to soften.

Add the wine (if using) to the pan, stir for 1 minute, then add the stock. Arrange the Romanesco broccoli, broccoli or cauliflower over the onion, then add the crushed red pepper, lemon zest and rosemary to the pan. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drop the pasta in the boiling water after the veggies have been cooking 3-4 minutes. Cook the pasta to al dente. Add a ladleful of starchy pasta cooking water to the veggies. Drain the pasta and toss it into the pot with the veggies. Stir in the ricotta cheese, thyme and grated Pecorino. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to