Linguine with Cauliflower Sweet Potato Cream Sauce
Pasta has to be one of the best go-to meals for a busy family. It’s simple, you usually have the ingredients on hand, and it’s a surefire hit with the kiddos. In fact, it’s such a no-brainer meal that even a novice can start having fun by experimenting with different flavor combinations.
Everyone loves a creamy pasta and eating vegan does not mean you have to forgo these decadent, hearty dishes. Vegan food bloggers have come up with countless recipes for vegan alfredo, carbonara and pesto sauces. Many use cashews as a base, but with my youngest child having a severe nut allergy I can never replicate them. And then some fabulously amazing person came up with the idea to puree cauliflower into a cream sauce. There are many such recipes out there in the blogosphere but this one over at Oh She Glows is my favorite; it was my inspiration for this combination of cauliflower and sweet potato happily blended together into a dreamy, creamy sauce that’s just the right balance of savory and sweet.
My family loved this dish and everyone jumped in for seconds and thirds. The flavor is kid-friendly simple but with a sophistication that pleases adult palates as well. And the color, oh the color! It’s beauty on a plate, especially with a sprig of fresh mint from the garden.
And I’ll let you in on a little secret: this recipe also doubles as a delicious soup. Just omit the pasta!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- one medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 cauliflower, washed and trimmed to florets
- high heat oil for cooking
- 1 tsp fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- dash of cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
- 16-oz box of linguine
- 1/2 cup non-dairy, unsweetened milk (I used soy)
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp agave
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- sea salt, to taste
For garnish (optional)
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- pinch sea salt
- sprig of fresh mint (one for each plate)
Place your sweet potato cubes and cauliflower florets in a large pot of water and set to boil. Cook until your veggies are tender and can easily be pierced with a fork, then drain.
Meanwhile, pour some oil into a pan over low heat and sauté the garlic and ginger until golden. Add your dash of cinnamon and nutmeg and gently toss the mixture in the pan.
In a blender or food processor, combine the cooked sweet potato and cauliflower, sautéed garlic and ginger, milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, lemon juice and agave. Blend until completely smooth. Add your salt and pepper to taste, pulsing each time to ensure you don’t over-season.
Next, make your linguine. You can use any pasta but I’m partial to linguine. : ) Set a large pot of water to boil and cook your pasta according to package instructions. Aim for an al dente consistency, drain and then return your pasta to the pot.
As your pasta cooks, prepare your (optional) garnish. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over low heat. Sauté your 1 tbsp of garlic and 1 tbsp of ginger until crispy. I like them almost burnt but do what makes you happy. Sprinkle in a small pinch of sea salt and set aside.
Returning to your pasta… pour your sauce over the drained pasta and gently fold it in until your pasta is evenly coated. Season again with salt and pepper if desired.
When plating, simply sprinkle some of your garlic & ginger mixture atop the pasta and add a sprig of mint for color.