There are so many delicious ways to achieve creamy, vegan pasta sauce, and I thought I'd tried them all: cashew cream, puréed butternut squash, avocado sauce, even a simple water + flour + seasonings. Of course, the plant world surprised me once again! If you're looking for flawlessly creamy vegan pasta sauce that's also light and gentle on digestion, this cauliflower alfredo really takes the cake! I added spinach and peas to mine for a dose of green goodness, but you can add any vegetable that you'd like. The cooking method I used for the sauce veggies (not including the garlic) was steaming, so the vegetables retained a lot of their nutritional value but were perfectly soft for blending. Serve this cauli alfredo with anything--I used whole wheat spaghetti, but the sauce would also work with gluten-free pasta, brown rice, or even drizzled over a baked sweet potato. In fact, with midweek leftovers in mind, I created the recipe so that you actually get 8 servings of sauce to use as you please!
Roasted Garlic Supergreens Cauliflower Alfredo With Zucchini & Tomatoes
Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
YIELDS 4 servings (plus extra sauce!)
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 1 cup fresh peas
- 1 cup spinach, packed
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used soy)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 servings worth pasta
- 1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. 2. Remove the outer papery layer of the head of garlic. Slice off the tops of the garlic cloves (about 1/4" inch). Place garlic on a small square of foil. Drizzle the open tops with about 1 teaspoon olive oil. Pinch the corners of the foil square together and pop the garlic in the oven on the middle rack. Roast for 35-40 minutes.* 3. Toss the zucchini rounds and tomato halves in remaining oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place on baking tray and add to the oven. (Garlic and veggie tray can share the same rack). Roast for 30 minutes; halfway through, give veggies a quick flip for even cooking. 4. Steam cauliflower and peas for 7-8 minutes or until fork-tender. Add greens of your choice and steam for another minute or until they're wilted. 5. While the veggies are steaming, prepare your pasta of choice according to package directions. 6a. Transfer steamed veggies to a high-speed blender. Add nutritional yeast, vegan milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, lemon juice, and any additional seasoning you may like (perhaps some freshly ground pepper or Italian herb blend.) 6b. When the garlic is done, it will be soft, buttery, and deliciously fragrant. Allow garlic to cool for about 10 minutes to avoid burning yourself. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, pinch the roasted cloves from the shells. Add desired amount to the blender. (You can always start with a few and add more after taste-testing.) 7. Blend until sauce is perfectly smooth. 8. Toss pasta in enough sauce to generously coat it. Plate pasta. Top with roasted veggies and serve! ** *If you don't want a super garlicy sauce, use only half of the roasted head. Save the remaining half to spread on toasted baguette or use in another sauce. Roasted garlic is gold! **Store remaining sauce in airtight container in the fridge to use later in the week.
Related: Creamy Fennel Noodle Sauce
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Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell