Roasted Cauliflower Fettucine Alfredo
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My latest craving is roasted cauliflower, so I’ve been adding it to everything. I even topped my white pizza with it a few days ago (it was so good!). It actually makes cauliflower worth eating. To me, it’s always just been one of those veggies that doesn’t seem to have much to offer, especially when it comes to flavor. But, when you drizzle it with olive oil and roast it, incredible things happen. It slightly caramelizes and even sweetens a bit. It tastes almost entirely different than it did before going into the oven. So if you don’t like cauliflower, roasting it might just change your opinion on that.
This fettucine alfredo is loaded with roasted cauliflower. It takes the place of cream, and most of the butter, in a traditional fettuccine alfredo recipe. With that said, this is much healthier than it’s full fat alternative and in my opinion it tastes just as good. I actually like it even more because I don’t feel like I gained five pounds from eating it. Those full fat versions are good but they don’t leave me feeling so great after I eat them. Besides, I always have to save room and calories for dessert :).
If you are going to make an alfredo and leave out all of the cream, then you are seriously going to have to find ways to make up for it (cream is one of my favorite foods after all), which is why I chose to roast the cauliflower and garlic and brown the only two tablespoons of butter it contains. The roasting and browning makes this sauce worthy of competing with the flavor of a full fat alfredo. I have the feeling you’re going to love it! I know I do. Enjoy!
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Roasted Cauliflower Fettuccine Alfredo
- 1 (2 lb) heat cauliflower , cored and diced into florets
- 4 - 6 cloves garlic , skins left on
- 1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 3/4 cup low-fat milk
- 2 oz Neufchatel cheese , softened (aka low fat cream cheese)
- 1 oz finely grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup slightly packed), plus more for topping if desired
- 14 oz fettuccine or linguine
- fresh parsley , for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cauliflower and garlic on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, then toss to evenly coat and spread into an even layer. Bake in preheated oven 25 - 30 minutes until golden.
- Meanwhile, boil pasta according to directions listed on package and reserve and set aside 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining pasta.
- Remove skins from roasted garlic then add to a blender along with roasted cauliflower and milk. Process mixture until well pureed (remove insert of lid and cover with a folded kitchen cloth).
- Brown butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then carefully add pureed cauliflower mixture to browned butter in saucepan and stir to combined.
- Reduce heat slightly, add in Neufchatel cheese, Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat mixture until warmed through, adding in reserved pasta water 1 Tbsp at a time to thin sauce to desired consistency.
- Return pasta to pot (without water) and toss with sauce (again adding in additional water to thin as desired). Serve warm, garnished with additional Parmesan and fresh parsley if desired.