I love to invent vegetable based pasta sauces. I used to think very inside of the box when it came to pasta sauce. Once I ran through the gamut of spaghetti, alfredo, and pesto, I started back at the beginning because where else was there to go?
Thankfully, several years ago I lived next door to a hippie nutritionist and she opened my eyes and imagination a bit. Now, you hand me a vegetable and I can pretty much make a sauce out of it. The secret to my magic, of course, is my food processor. I am crippled without her. If you don’t have yourself a high quality food processor or blender (quality is ever so important) I suggest you do it asap. Seriously. It will rock your world. Moving on.
If you’re like me carrots and cauliflower aren’t well received at your house. I consistently have a hard time getting anyone but myself to consume them and they’ve oftentimes gone bad sitting in my vegetable drawer. That’s why I felt like such a genius for figuring this sauce out the other day. Finally, a way to get my kids (and husband. ahem.) to eat cauliflower. So without further ado, on with the recipe.
Carrot and Cauliflower Pasta Sauce
- 6 large carrots
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1/2 an onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- as much butter as you can stand
First, peel, and cut up half a dozen or so large carrots, half an onion, and a couple of cloves of garlic. Toss with olive oil (or fat of your choosing), salt and pepper, and spread out in one layer in a baking dish. Bake for half an hour or so at 350 until they’re nice and roasted to your delight. Roasting is a very important part of the process if you want a sauce with slammin’ flavor. Even though a lot of my vegetable creations end up as mush in my food processor, they’re almost always oven roasted or pan sauteed first.
While that is in the oven, go ahead and boil or steam your head of cauliflower, cut up into florets. Drain and reserve cauliflower water (we’re going to want to add some back to the sauce later).
Once all your beautiful vegetables are finished cooking combine them all in your food processor or blender.
This is the part where your own taste and preference comes in a bit. I added roughly 1/4 a cup of butter and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of cauliflower broth (not to mention salt and pepper) to my sauce until it was a consistency and flavor that I liked. There’s no wrong answer here, be confident in your sauce making skills!
When I was satisfied, I poured it over my pasta (which I boiled somewhere in this process) I used organic, whole wheat gobbetti. It was twirly and delicious. And yes, all 6 members of my family ate every bite on their plate. As always, my youngest two (currently ages 4 and 6) were certain they didn’t like it until they were coaxed into taking a couple of bites. Then it turns out they did. Shocker. Also, a dessert bribe at the end didn’t hurt.
The adults ate this with a side salad but the kids simply ate the pasta with sauce. The wonderful thing about this dish and those like it, is just when you start to feel guilty because their plates don’t look like a “balanced meal”, you can be assured that your six year old just ate carrots, cauliflower, and onions. Boom.
Have you experimented with vegetable sauces other than tomato?