Tuesday 25 October 2011

Cauliflower alfredo pasta sauce

Creamy isn't my preference for pasta sauces.  Yet I still get fascinated every time I see a vegan alfredo.  Tonight I tried one from cupcakes and kale.  It was an unlikely combination of cauliflower, beans and milk.  An easy dish for a night when I was low on energy.  It was creamy but not as we know it.  I really enjoyed it.

Sylvia hasn't been sleeping well.  Not good for getting up the MoFo post I intended!  Not good for serving small children.  I was so tired that I forgot to put some plain pasta aside for Sylvia before stirring in the sauce.  Dinner became the Battle of the Pasta Sauce!  She tried it.  For a while it worked.  Then she hit a bit of cracked pepper.  I never heard the end of how spicy it was.  I tried wiping sauce off the pasta.  She broke the pasta into pieces to decorate her plate.

Fortunately young children aren't really expected to eat well.  Especially not when they are unwell with a cold!  Their role at dinner is to entertain.  We got the biggest laugh when Sylvia called the cauliflower, which she did eat, "dollyflower".

E also wasn't so keen on the pasta sauce.  He is not into creamy sauces either.  I find too much dairy heavy but creamy is such comfort food.  So perhaps it wasn't surprising that I found myself wanting to taste the sauce over and over before it went into the pasta.  Was it surprise at how creamy cauliflower and beans could be?  Or just that it was so tasty?  Either way I will keep trying these vegan creamy pasta sauces.

Other vegan pasta dishes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Avocado Pasta
Mafaldine with kale and walnut pesto
Tofu-ricotta, zucchini and pumpkin lasagne 
Pumpkin and almond filled ravioli
Vegan sausage, cheese and vegetable pasta

Other creamy vegan pasta dishes that I must try:
Butternut squash mac 'n' cheeze - oh she glows
Hurry up alfredo - vegan yum yum
New age carbonara - diet dessert and dogs
Pumpkin alfredo - manifest vegan
Roasted red pepper vodka sauce - el pasa veg snob

Cauliflower alfredo pasta sauce
Adapted from cupcakes and kale
Makes 3 1/2 cups of sauce

1/2 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small brown onion, chopped
1 cup cooked white beans
1 - 1 1/4 cup soy milk
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
lots of black pepper

To serve:
1 cup black kale, chopped - from our garden :-)
1/8 cup sun dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1/4 cup green peas
250g uncooked pasta

To make sauce: steam cauliflower for about 20 minutes or until it is so soft it is falling apart when a fork even looks at it.  While cauli steams,  heat oil in a medium saucepan and fry onion until golden.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Turn off heat.  Add other ingredients to the saucepan, using only 1 cup of milk initially.  Once cauli is cooked, add it to the saucepan.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  (I used my hand held blender).  Add a little more milk if the sauce is too thick.

Meanwhile: Cook pasta according to instructions.  Lightly steam kale and green peas.  Drain and chop sun dried tomatoes.  Mix kale, peas and sun dried tomatoes.  Reheat sauce if required.  Drain pasta and toss with sauce.  Serve in bowls and top with kale mixture.

On the Stereo:
Wonderland soundtrack: Michael Nyman

This post is part of Vegan Month of Food October 2011.  Go to my Vegan MoFo list for more Vegan MoFo posts.


  1. Poor Sylvia, and poor you! I am so impressed that you created this gorgeous dish even while so tired! I am super excited about this healthful version of a cream sauce - this will definitely become yet another one of your great recipes that we crave often in our house! :-)

  2. I definitely need to try this! I love creamy pasta sauces but don't love all the calories.

  3. I will have to try that sauce Johanna, It might be good to serve to cooper over his veg. Now he is a boy who likes a good sauce (homemade of course).

  4. what a great looking 'dollyflower' sauce!

  5. This recipe sounds really good, I love how cauliflower can create such creamy sauces. Hurry up alfredo from VYY is such a great quick dinner, you should try it when you are pressed for time. Hope Sylvia is feeling better soon.

  6. Ah, interesting! I'm not usually into creamy sauces either, on pasta or more generally, but this looks like one I might - like you - enjoy.

    I hope Sylvia feels better soon and you all get some sleep :/

  7. I've never been into creamy pastas either, but I'm playing around in my mind with the idea of turning this into soup...

    Hope Sylvia feels better soon!

  8. Wow, this looks very creamy, depsite there being no cream in it at all.

  9. Thanks Astra - v kind - I hope you love it - and it wasn't too hard truly or I wouldn't have had the energy - fortunately sylvia is much brighter today - don't know if it is less tiring :-)

    Thanks Joanne - it is nice to have a creamy dish that doesn't sit heavily on the stomach

    thanks Jacqueline - I regret to say that Sylvia's favourite sauce comes from the shop in a bottle but when I have tried a home made tomato sauce she isn't so keen - kids! Hope cooper appreciates the pasta sauce more that sylvia!

    Thanks Lisa - I almost titled the post dollyflower sauce :-)

    Thanks Mel - I was thinking how versatile cauli is - imitating dairy, mince meat and rice! Must try the hurry up alfredo

    Thanks Kari - I feel better knowing the sauce is full of vegies - got better sleep last night thanksfully

    Thanks Hannah - when I was tasting it I thought it would make a great soup because I wanted to just eat it all out of the saucepan

    thanks Cakelaw - it did look like a regular cream sauce which also amazed me!

  10. glad you enjoyed it - i also found myself eating it by the spoonful :)

  11. Aww! Thanks! xo! I have found so many great blogs through Vegan Mofo too! Vegan Mofoers are the bestest people on earth! :)

  12. I tried another vegan cream sauce a few days ago and decided after all the ones I've tried, I just don't think I like them and am going to stop trying. But this one actually sounds really good and different!! So you've changed my mind. :)

  13. Just made this for dinner tonight--SO delicious! It was too late in the day to snap a photo but I'll try to get one tomorrow so I can blog about it--we both loved it. Shared on twitter and Facebook! :D

  14. Amazing! I loved it so much! I didn't have any white beans so I subbed chickpeas. I put in a scant tablespoon of pepper and I think it was a bit too much, but it was still shockingly creamy and delicious! Thank you so much! :)

  15. Delicious! I have been looking for a lighter cream sauce and this little baby ticks all the boxes! I love beans and the invisible fibre that they inject into a meal when pureed and cauliflower (or is that dollyflower? ;) ) just makes everything tastier. I thank you from the bottom of my isolated Vegan heart here in meat eating Tasmania for your efforts and your wonderful blog :)


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