This is not the super rich alfredo sauce you might get at your favorite Italian restaurant. This version is light and has lots of cauliflower in it. If you are trying to get more veggies into your kids (or yourself) and you are a pasta eating family like we are, then this dish might be right up your alley.
For the topping:
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1/3 grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
For the pasta:
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large head cauliflower, cored, cut in large pieces (or use frozen cauliflower)
water to cover (about 4 cups)
1/2 tsp dried Italian herb blend
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
14-oz box spaghetti, cooked and drained (I used GF rice fettucine noodles)
1/2 lemon, juiced
Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and 1 tbsp olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is well toasted, and golden-brown. Stir in the thyme; remove from heat, and reserve.
In a medium saucepan, warm the garlic cloves in the olive oil over low heat for a few minutes, or until the cloves begin to bubble. Add the cauliflower, enough water to cover, dried herbs, pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and cook until the cauliflower is soft.
Turn off the heat. Use a stick blender (or standard blender) to puree the mixture into a smooth sauce. If it seems too thick add a little water or broth, if it’s too thin simply simmer until it reduces and thickens up. Then, stir in the cream, and add the Parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Cover and reserve.
Boil the spaghetti according to directions and drain well. Return to the pot, add the lemon juice, and pour over the cauliflower sauce. Toss to coat the pasta. Divide into four pasta bowls and serve hot topped with the toasted Parmesan breadcrumbs.
We had this with meatballs and some strawberries on the side.
What did the family think? Everyone LOVED it! Seriously, that doesn’t happen very often so I was super happy.