Fusili with Chicken, Cauliflower and Romesco Sauce

March 8, 2021  •  Easy Entrees, One Dish Meals, Pasta & Pizza

This is one of those dishes that tastes much better than it photographs. I was originally trying to come up with ideas for cauliflower when I decided to incorporate it into a pasta dish. The smokiness of the romesco sauce really provides an interesting flavor in this dish. I was trying to limit the cheese because I made this right after the holidays, but it would be better with a nice thick layer of mozzarella on the top. You can certainly make this vegetarian by omitting the chicken, and gluten free by using a gluten free pasta.

Fusili with Chicken, Cauliflower and Romesco Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6
  • 1 large red pepper, sliced into flat pieces and seeded
  • 2 small tomatoes, halved
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup Marcona almonds
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces fusili or other short pasta
  • 1 pound cooked, shredded chicken
  • ¾ pound cauliflower florets
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ½ cup half-and-half
  • 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella
  1. Lay the pieces of pepper and tomato halves on a baking sheet, skin side up. Add the garlic cloves and nuts to the same pan and place under the broiler for a few minutes until the nuts begin to brown and the tomato skins are slightly charred. Remove the tomatoes, garlic and nuts from the pan and remove the charred skins from the tomatoes and discard. Return the pan to the broiler until the skin on the peppers is very black.
  2. Put the pepper pieces into a covered bowl to steam, and then remove and discard the skins. Combine the peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and nuts in the bowl of a food processor. Add the vinegar and salt and pulse a few times to roughly chop. With the bald running, drizzle in olive oil until a thick paste is formed. Spoon the romesco sauce into a large bowl.
  3. Cook the pasta in heavily salted water for two minutes less than the package directions, Drain, reserving some of the pasta cooking water.
  4. Add the pasta to the romesco sauce along with the chicken, cauliflower, pine nuts, half-and-half, and ½ to 1 cup of the mozzarella. Toss gently to combine everything. If the mixture seems dry, add some of the pasta cooking water to make it creamy.
  5. Pour into a greased casserole dish and top with more mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake until the cheese melts and the casserole is bubbly, about 30 minutes (or more if you refrigerate it before baking.


Add a Comment

Rate this recipe: