1 head of romanesco
1 clove garlic
4 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, 2 ounces finely grated and 2 ounces coarsely grated (about 1 cup of each)
2 ounces Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
1 pound orecchiette pasta
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2teaspoons finely ground black pepper
Kosher salt to taste
Prep the romanesco by removing the exterior leaves and core, and separating it into bite-sized florets. Wash the florets and then blanch them in a large pot of boiling, salted water until they just turn tender (about 3 minutes). Shock them in an ice bath or very cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, giving it a stir every once in awhile to keep the pasta from sticking together.
Place the finely grated Pecorino and Parmigiano in a medium bowl, this will be made into a sauce. The coarsely grated Pecorino will be used for garnishing at the end and can be placed in a small serving bowl.
Slice the garlic as thin as you can and sauté in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until lightly toasted. The garlic slices will brown quickly so be careful not to let them burn. Add the romanesco florets and a pinch of salt, and sauté briefly, coating them in the olive oil. Set aside until the pasta is done cooking.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1 ½ cups of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the empty pot.
Slowly whisk 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water into the finely grated Pecorino and Parmigiano until smooth. Whisk in cream, 2 teaspoons olive oil, and black pepper. Gradually pour cheese mixture over pasta, tossing to coat.
Let pasta rest 1 to 2 minutes, tossing frequently. The sauce will thicken a bit as it sets. If it is too thick, add more of the reserved pasta water. Toss in the romanesco. Salt to taste. Top with coarsely grated Pecorino and enjoy immediately!