Pasta Dishes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegetarian Recipes

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower by 2sistersrecipes.com

Sharing is caring!

 

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower is an old Italian peasant dish that uses cauliflower as the main ingredient for the sauce.  The cauliflower slowly cooks down into a creamy texture and it’s cooked with pasta to create this amazing and tasty dish we call, pasta with creamy cauliflower!  

 

How To Make this Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower dish!

1.  Cauliflower is sauteed with some garlic, fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes to flavor it. 

2 .  Next, water is added, and the cauliflower is simmered until it melts into a creamy mixture.

3 .  Then toss in the pasta and simmered until the pasta is tender.  A similar method to risotto.

 

It’s creamy and positively DELICIOUS!  Your kids will love this too!  Best of all, the kids will have no idea it’s made with cauliflower, so don’t tell them!

This is our family’s recipe handed down from our mom, and one we have been making for years!

Here, I made this dish with broken spaghetti, just the way our mom did it when we were kids.  She called this dish her Southern Italian version of “mac & cheese!” 

Cooking the cauliflower down into a creamy mixture was our mom’s secret and a clever way to hide the cauliflower in this dish.  She was clever.  It was her genius idea to get us to eat more cauliflower.

 

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

WHY I LOVE THIS DISH!    For 4 reasons!
This is an “all-in-one” pasta dish!  It is relatively easy and ready to serve in less than 20 minutes!   Loaded with a nutrient-dense vegetable.  And, omit the cheese and it’s VEGAN!

 

Everyone will think this dish is made with some cream in it because it has a similar texture to that of a creamy Alfredo dish.  But the truth is, there is NO cream in this recipe at all! 

Making this dish totally healthier!

 

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

Your family and friends will love this pasta with creamy cauliflower!

This is such a delicious dish! You will need to serve it with some grated Pecorino Romano cheese or with grated Parmesan cheese on top, as the finish touch!  A great and easy weeknight dish to make!

But don’t take our word for it, you’ll have to try it!

ENJOY!

 

 

A Cook’s Tips and Notes:

  • This dish is best cooked with any kind of small pasta, like mini shells, broken spaghetti, ditalini, or elbows. 

  • Like risotto, you will need to stay near the stove and stir the pasta often, adding increments of water until the pasta is cooked to your preference, about 5 to 6 minutes. 

  • Instead of water, you can use low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth to cook down the cauliflower.  Keep in mind, the color of the pasta will turn out darker.

  • If you prefer to cook the pasta separately, then reduce the water to 1 cup when cooking down the cauliflower.  Next, under-cook the pasta, about 2 minutes and finish cooking the pasta with the creamy cauliflower mixture.

  • Pecorino Romano cheese is a saltier cheese and adds more flavor to this dish. You may also use grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese if preferred. 

  • Omit the cheese and it’s perfect for the Vegan diet. 

  • For a healthier twist, try using multi-grain spaghetti, or even gluten-free spaghetti.

 

 

*You may follow along or jump down to the bottom of this post to our full recipe card.

Ingredients for Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower :

  • 1 small or medium Cauliflower

  • 1/2 pound of spaghetti – broken into pieces

  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, plus a dash more

  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves- chopped

  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley

  • 2 cups of water, and more as needed

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • fresh cracked pepper to taste

  • grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Wash and cut cauliflower into chunks. Discard the core.
In a large pot with 1 inch of water, add the cauliflower.
Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Drain water.  Remove and set aside.

Using the same pot, you need to first dry the pot with a paper towel.
Add olive oil and heat on medium-low heat.  Add garlic and crushed red pepper.

Sauté the garlic until golden color.
Add the cauliflower back into the pot with the garlic and oil and toss in fresh chopped parsley and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring while the flavors are infusing with one another.

Add 2 cups of water to the mixture.  Add salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Cover with a lid.
Simmer on low for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the cauliflower is cooked down to a soft, creamy mixture.

 

 

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

 

In the meantime, break the spaghetti into small pieces.
If you have a large cauliflower then you can use the entire package of spaghetti.
I prefer to have more of the creamy cauliflower with my pasta, so I prefer to use less pasta in this dish.

Raise the heat and bring the cauliflower mixture to a full boil.
Add spaghetti into the mixture.  Bring to a full boil, then lower the heat to medium.

 

 

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower by 2sistersrecipes.com

 

Stirring occasionally, and even constantly.  This will need nurturing, like risotto.

The water will get absorbed as the pasta is cooking.  Cook the spaghetti for about 6 to 7 minutes, or until al dente. Gradually add more water, ( increments of 1/4 cup) as needed. The mixture will be thick and creamy. Keep tasting the pasta until it’s cooked to al-dente.

When the pasta is perfectly cooked.  I like to stir in 1 more “dash” of red pepper flakes.  Turn off heat.  Taste, and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.

 

 

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower by 2sistersrecipes.com

Ladle pasta with creamy cauliflower into serving bowls.  Add grated Pecorino Romano cheese on top.
Serve immediately.  If the mixture is too sticky, stir in some extra virgin olive oil, or water into the pasta.

Serves 4 to 6

 

 

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower is creamy and delicious! Cauliflower is quickly steamed and then sauteed with garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Then it's slowly cooked down until the cauliflower melts into a creamy texture. Best of all, it's a genius way to hide the cauliflower!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 small or medium Cauliflower
  • 1/2 pound of spaghetti - broken into pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, plus a dash more
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves- chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 cups of water, and more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Instructions

  1. Wash and cut cauliflower into chunks. Discard the core.
  2. In a large pot with 1 inch of water, add the cauliflower.
  3. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Drain water. Remove and set aside.
  4. Using the same pot, first dry the inside of the pot with a paper towel.
  5. Add olive oil and heat on medium-low heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper.
  6. Sauté the garlic until golden color.
  7. Add the cauliflower back into the pot with the garlic and oil and toss in fresh chopped parsley and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring while the flavors are infusing with one another.
  8. Add 2 cups of water to the mixture. Add salt and fresh cracked pepper. Cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the cauliflower is cooked down to a soft, creamy mixture.
  9. In the meantime, break the spaghetti into small pieces, about 1 to 2-inches long.
  10. If you have a large cauliflower then you can use more to the entire package of spaghetti. (I prefer to have more of the creamy cauliflower with my pasta, so I prefer to use less pasta in this dish).
  11. Raise the heat and bring the cauliflower mixture to a full boil.
  12. Add spaghetti and Bring to a full boil, then lower the heat to medium.
  13. Stirring occasionally, and even constantly. This will need nurturing, like risotto.
  14. The water will get absorbed as the pasta is cooking. Cook the spaghetti for about 6 to 7 minutes, or until al dente. Gradually adding more water, ( increments of 1/4 cup) as needed. The mixture will be thick and creamy. Keep tasting the pasta until it's cooked to al-dente.
  15. When the pasta is perfectly cooked. I like to stir in 1 more "dash" of red pepper flakes. Turn off heat. Taste, and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
  16. Ladle pasta with creamy cauliflower into serving bowls. Add grated Pecorino Romano cheese on top.
  17. Serve immediately. If the mixture is too sticky, stir in some (2 teaspoons) extra virgin olive oil, or water into the pasta.

MORE TASTY RECIPES!! 

 

 

 

Thanks for PINNING!!   And thanks for stopping by!!

Pasta with Creamy Cauliflower by 2sistersrecipes.com

If you try our delicious pasta with a creamy cauliflower recipe, let us know and leave a comment with a star rating in our recipe card.  Snap a photo and hashtag it on Instagram @2sistersrecipes, and on Pinterest We’d love to see what you cook!

Don’t forget to enter your email address in our ‘Subscribe Box’ and get our recipes FREE every time we post!  Also, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy Cooking!

xo Anna and Liz

You Might Also Like

11 Comments

  • Reply
    Gabby
    March 27, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    Pasta cauliflower was so easy to make and really delicious! My 10 month old LOVED it!

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      March 27, 2020 at 8:27 pm

      So happy to hear your baby loved it! 🙂
      Thanks for leaving a comment Gabby!! Xo

  • Reply
    Massimo
    March 9, 2018 at 5:31 pm

    Great version of a staple dish in Southern Italian cusine… Just one minor suggestion: water to be added to pasta and cauliflower should be warm, so it won’t stop pasta from cooking. Siete bravissime!

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      April 4, 2018 at 9:09 am

      Thanks Massimo!! Love your suggestions!! Grazie mille!! 🙂

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    January 20, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    I really love this idea! My grandsons love mac n cheese and I'd love to see if they would enjoy eating pasta this way. Anything to get them to eat more veggies. Great recipe!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      January 21, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks Sue! And we definitely agree! …anytime we can get them to eat more veggies is the way to go! xoxo

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    January 19, 2016 at 2:11 am

    Another yummy recipe ladies! Thank you 🙂 Have a wonderful week!

    • Reply
      annaliz
      January 19, 2016 at 3:34 am

      Thank you Tricia! Enjoy the week!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    April 20, 2011 at 1:41 am

    Hi Carla,
    Great! Let us know how it turns out if you make it…
    Liz

  • Reply
    Carla
    April 19, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    This recipe sounds better than the one my Dad gave me. Will have to try it soon!

  • Reply
    annaliz
    April 18, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Hi Vincent,
    Great idea….we will definitely add you onto our site as well.
    Thanks and regards,
    Liz and Anna

  • Leave a Reply

    Translate »