Who knew cauliflower could be transformed into a rich, creamy pasta sauce without the heavy caloric cost? Want it vegan? Try swapping out Parmesan for nutritional yeast and use coconut milk in lieu of evaporated milk. Heat leftovers in a skillet over medium-low heat with some additional evaporated milk to restore their creamy goodness.
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 garlic cloves, halved
1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (60 mL) evaporated milk
4 oil-packed anchovies (optional)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp (10 mL) fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) Dijon-style mustard
1/2 tsp (2 mL) red chili flakes
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
12 oz (340 g) whole grain rotini or fusilli
6 cups (1.5 L) baby spinach
2 cups (500 mL) cooked or canned chickpeas
2/3 cup (160 mL) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup (80 mL) roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
In large saucepan of boiling water, cook cauliflower and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup (180 mL) cooking water and then drain. Transfer cauliflower and garlic to blender or food processor container along with reserved cooking water, Parmesan cheese, evaporated milk, anchovies (if using), lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, mustard, chili flakes, salt, and pepper; blend until smooth.
Bring large saucepan of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Reserve 1/3 cup (80 mL) cooking water and then drain. Return pasta to pot and stir in spinach until it begins to wilt. Stir in chickpeas and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir in cauliflower sauce and reserved pasta cooking water until coated.
Serve pasta garnished with parsley and additional black pepper.
Each serving contains: 382 calories; 21 g protein; 5 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 68 g total carbohydrates (8 g sugars, 10 g fibre); 444 mg sodium
source: "Cauliflower", alive #389, March 2015
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