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My DH and I just visited "Little Italy" in Cleveland, OH and had the BEST pasta sauce. It was a cream based sauce with cauliflower in it. No tomatoes. Relatively thin...not thick like an alfredo. Absolutely delicious!
Any Italians (or Italian food lovers) that would like to part with their recipe? We'd be eternally grateful!
This is Cauliflower and Spinach - I adapted a recipe from cooking light a couple years ago. It's also good with added bacon or prosciutto. You could omit the spinach easily. It's a little hot/spicy from the red pepper.
Pasta in Spinach/Cauliflower Sauce
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
2 small yellow onions, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 bunch fresh spinach, washed, stems removed (or baby spinach)
1/4 cup heavy cream
grated zest 1/4 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
20 oz. dried pasta (any shape – I like Campanelle)
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
Place the cauliflower, onions, red wine, red pepper, and 1 cup of water in a saucepan; cover, and cook over medium heat until the broccoli is soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer half the solids and all the liquid to a food processor, and purée until smooth. Set the rest aside. In a large skillet large enough to hold the pasta later, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the pine nuts and cook over medium heat, stirring for 2 minutes, or until golden; remove to a plate. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet, and stir in the spinach and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, or until wilted; add the puréed cauliflower, cauliflower floret mix (set aside earlier), cream, lemon zest, pine nuts, salt, and pepper, and cook over medium-low heat for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt and the pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain. Toss the pasta with the sauce, and adjust the seasoning (black pepper, salt). Sauté for 1 minute, then transfer to a heated bowl. Toss with the Pecorino and serve.