Mac and cheese is probably my favorite food. That, and chocolate.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of fat in mac and cheese. And not a lot of vegetables. Let’s be real, there are NO veggies in mac and cheese.
Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing wrong with a cheesey-packed meal every once and awhile – but if I can satisfy that cheesy craving in a healthier way, I want in!
Enter our friend the cauliflower:
- 1 lb. uncooked fettuccine noodles
- 1 head cauliflower
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup starchy boiling water from pasta pot
- Chop the cauliflower into pieces about the size of broccoli. Bring the vegetable broth to a boil over medium high heat and add the cauliflower. Cook the cauliflower for about 15 minutes, until the it is soft (the softer it is, the smoother the sauce!)
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and saute for 4-5 minutes until fragrant. Don’t burn it!
- As the garlic and cauliflower are cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the fettuccine according to directions on package, keeping 1/2 a cup of the starchy water for the sauce.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a blender with about 1 cup of the broth. You will need to do this in batches if you’re blender is as old school as mine…
- Add the sautéed garlic, salt, nutmeg, and black pepper and puree until very smooth, about 5 minutes. Once the mixture is uniform, add the olive oil into the blender. Add more broth or water if the mixture is too thick to move through the blender.
- When the puree is very smooth, pour it back into the butter/garlic skillet.
- Add the cream and cook over low heat. Add the starchy pasta water.
- Combine the noodles and sauce and serve immediately.
Vegetables making a creamy, healthy sauce? Yes please! Despite tasting nothing like alfredo (the name of the recipe got my hopes up,) it was the texture that I really fell in love with.
It’s creamy. But only has 1/4 a cup of cream in it. (Two thumbs up!)
I am going to try to recreate this recipe in some bacon mac and cheese, inspired by a meal I had while in San Diego last week.
P.S. I should note that I didn’t think I liked cauliflower before eating this. My mind is now changed.