Pasta with Tomatoes and Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

Every time I create a recipe I keep in mind the nutritional balance of the meal. This may not be a concept that is considered for all recipes out there on the Internet. I must say I come across many that are loaded with carbohydrate or lack a protein source. Meals such as these will lead you to feel sluggish or hungry a short while after eating.

The key to fullness lies in the balance of the meal- fibre, protein and healthy fats are a recipe for satiation!

Any guesses as to the secret ingredients that contribute to the delicious creaminess of this sauce? You guessed it! Cauliflower and chickpeas! Blended into oblivion and hardly recognizable – which my husband appreciated all too much! The chickpeas do double-duty in this recipe, creating a wonderfully creamy texture while packing a protein punch.

Take creamy pasta dishes from a once-in-a-while treat to a regular weeknight meal with this nutritious alternative! Give it a try! Seriously!😊

1- 375g box multigrain spaghetti
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup fresh basil, sliced
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
Olive oil (for drizzling on top)

For the cauliflower sauce:
1 head cauliflower (about 2.5 cups), cut into florets
1- 19oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup milk of choice
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp turmeric (optional – for colour)
Sprinkle of red chili flakes (optional)
Black pepper and salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.
Steam the cauliflower until very tender. This will result in a better consistency when the sauce is pureed. Add the cooked cauliflower to a blender, along with the remaining sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, drain and add back to the pot.
Meanwhile, place halved tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper and a pinch of salt. Toss to combine, then roast for ~10-12 minutes, until softened.
Add the blended sauce to the pot of cooked pasta. Add cooked tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and basil. Toss to combine.
Serve in bowls with a drizzle of olive oil and extra basil and red chili flakes, if desired.

*Note: If you don’t want to cook a whole box of pasta, feel free to cook what you’d like and freeze the leftover sauce for a later date! I like to freeze sauces flat in ziploc bags- makes for easy stacking and maximizing freezer space!

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