Try this simple to make vegan pasta with peas and curried cauliflower sauce from Forks Over Knives. It’s also omnivore friendly!
When I came across this recipe for Rigatoni with Peas in Curried Cream Sauce in the Forks Over Knives Cookbook (affiliate link) it was immediately added to my GOTTA MAKE THIS list. I’m sure you’ve seen “caulifredo” sauce on the internet but if the idea is new to you rest assured you’ll love this vegan version of alfredo sauce. Those of you with omnivorous tendencies will find flexitarian suggestions at the end of the recipe.
Now, despite the name, I don’t consider this a “creamy” sauce at all. It’s a little grainy, but not in a bad way. It’s nice and garlicky with the curry and red pepper adding a lively flavor. This would be an excellent dish for freshly shelled peas, but use frozen peas if they’re out of season where you live.
If you’re all at familiar with Forks Over Knives, you’ll know that in addition to being a plant based diet, they also minimize the use of oils during cooking by employing a technique that steams and sautes at the same time. You’ll need to have some vegetable broth or water available while you’re cooking and add a couple tablespoons as needed to prevent the food from sticking. I like this technique as it’s really simple to jack up the calories of a meal with a heavy splash of olive oil. Still, I like the flavor a good olive oil imparts to food so a compromise is to brush the bottom of the pan with it and use water or broth as needed while cooking.
- ½ pound small tubular or shaped pasta
- 1 to 2 cups vegetable broth (you won't need it all)
- 4 cups finely chopped cauliflower (about half a head)
- 2 cups frozen peas
- ¼ cup chopped onion or shallots
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (your favorite)
- ½ teaspoon or more red pepper flake
- Set a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta while you assemble the ingredients. When it comes to a boil, cook the pasta as indicated on the label. Drain and keep warm until needed.
- Cook the chopped cauliflower using whatever method you like (I steamed mine with a little broth in the microwave)
- While the cauliflower is cooking, saute the onions and garlic with the red pepper flakes (try the steam/saute method described above)
- Stir in the curry powder after the onions have softened and started to change color.
- Puree the cauliflower with enough broth to make a pourable puree. Add to the onions and garlic.
- Add the peas and allow to heat through. Add more broth as needed. Salt and pepper to taste.
- When the peas are ready, add the drained pasta to the cauliflower and peas. Garnish with the chopped parsley
- Add a couple ounces of chopped cream cheese to make a heavier sauce.
- Chop up a leftover chicken breast or shrimp to add to the pasta.
- Stir in some cream to add richness to the sauce.
I feel this type of pasta is a great way to eat an extra serving of vegetables without considerable effort. Plus, like so many other dishes, it’s easy to tailor to suit your family. Would your family like it? What would you add in?