I personally am a huge fan of cauliflower. However, I know that it can be extremely overpowering in flavor (and smell!!) which can turn a lot of people away. So, to me it is always a welcomed challenge to find ways to use it that even non-believers will enjoy. OR better yet, use it in ways that people do not even know it is there.
I am also what some may call a “package whore” and totally can’t resist buying things that I find aesthetically pleasing and beautiful. So, when I saw purple cauliflower in the produce section, I was like “GAME ON.”
In the past I have made cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza, and cauliflower breadsticks. But with cauliflower this beautiful I knew I needed to step it up. I thought to myself, have I ever eaten purple pasta before?
Ladies and gents- I present you with a “creamy” and dreamy purple pasta!!
- 1 head of purple cauliflower, cut into tiny florets (so it is easier to steam)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced (I like this sauce nice and garlicky)
- 1/3 cup of white wine
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 2 heaping tablespoons of Braggs Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
- 1.5 teaspoons of coarse black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of fresh spinach leaves,
- 1 large vine tomato, roughly chopped
- 1 box of spaghetti, cooked as directed by package (I used Gluten-Free Barilla)
To begin, chop your purple cauliflower into small florets and steam until tender. I like to use a microwavable steamer so that they retain more of their color. Boiling works too but I find that the purple seems to get duller that way. I steam mine in the microwave for about 4.5 minutes. Then when tender, I set them aside.
In a medium sized skillet on medium/high heat, pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Then add in your 3 minced cloves of garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add in your 1/3 cup of white wine and your teaspoon of red pepper flakes. If you would like a milder heat you can cut this amount down or remove completely. Once the wine has cooked down for about 2 minutes, add in your steamed purple florets. Allow them to cook in the wine and garlic for 1-2 minutes then remove from heat.
In a large food processor or Vitamix ( I just got one and I am still crying over its amazingness) pour your cooked down garlic, wine, and cauliflower. Add in your nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Then blend for 1-2 minutes or until a creamy consistency is acquired. If you find that your sauce is too thick you can add a little non-dairy milk or water. Be careful not too add too much liquid as it can ultimately get runny. Also- make sure to taste your sauce to see if it needs any more of anything. Depending on my mood, I add more black pepper or lemon to my creamy sauces. So feel free to get creative and trust your instincts.
The cream sauce will be ready to serve as is. Or if you cook with color like I do, you will want to make some sauteed veggies to put on top of your purple pasta. So, in the same skillet that you used before, turn the burner back on to a medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then add your fresh spinach leaves. Let them wilt down for 2 minutes, then add in your chopped tomatoes and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the spinach and tomatoes have cooked down you can remove them from the heat.
Cook your pasta as directed on the back of the package. Salt your water as it is the only time you get to season your pasta. Then when fully cooked, drain, and place pasta in a large dish or bowl. Pour your sauce over your pasta and mix until the pasta is fully coated. Then, if you have made sauteed spinach and tomatoes, you can place them on top of your creamy pasta.
Now you are ready to serve and totally shock whoever you are having dinner with! I cannot wait to hear how this turns out for you guys and how surprised you are that this is so creamy and completely vegan.
Note** When making this sauce, the coolest thing happened. When I added extra lemon juice to the blended sauce, the juice became bright pink! It brightened up this pasta and ultimately gave it a beautiful pastel pink hue. If you have kids in your house at all this is extremely exciting. It definitely made me the coolest Tia on the block! So feel free to steal my tricks to impress any little ones in your life!!