Are you ready for some pasta!? Day 3 basil week, let’s go.
I am fully aware that I/we eat a ton of pasta. At least 1-2x per week, you can find me in the kitchen creating some type of pasta dish. A fact I really didn’t bat an eye at until I hosted a dinner party a few weeks back. The menu? Fresh puttanesca sauce with whole wheat linguini, salad, and steamed broccoli with a pesto vinaigrette (oh, ok and homemade chocolate gelato for dessert. It was a party).
A menu that in my mind, was a great balance between healthy and delicious. Apparently not. As the dishes were being passed around the table, I noticed that quite a few of my girlfriends passed on the pasta. Filling their plates with salad, broccoli… and not much else. Huh!? It’s not like I was serving fettuccine alfredo. Now, that aversion I get (although it’s ah-maz-ing). But whole wheat pasta with fresh tomato sauce?
And that’s when it hit me- while I have completely accepted pasta into my diet, my friends were still scared.
For whatever reason, pasta has become public enemy #1. A fact that makes my carb-loving (and Italian) self cry. Wimper. You can have pasta. Read on.
The problem for most of us comes with the serving size. Go ahead, dish out a cup of pasta and place it on your plate. Now who’s crying? A cup of pasta is a sad excuse for a portion size. That’s why you will always find my pasta recipes with lots of vegetables tucked away inside. Take that same cup of pasta and add a cup of vegetables to it. There, that’s more like it.
In addition to portion size, I always advocate for whole wheat pasta. My favorite brands (that don’t taste like cardboard) are Bella Terra Organic, Barilla, and Whole Food’s 365. When we talk carbs, it’s so important to discuss fiber content. Fiber helps with fullness and curbing blood sugar/insulin response. Choose whole wheat when you can and stick to a cup, maybe two, max.
Lastly, the sauce. Cauliflower sauce is my secret weapon for amazing, creamy deliciousness without a drop of cream, butter or cheese. Try it! I promise it DOESN’T taste like cauliflower. Instead, you get a silky, slightly garlicky white sauce that is dreamy on just about everything. To up the nutrition (and the color), I added oven-roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh basil from the garden.
Still too carb-heavy for you? Pour it over zucchini noodles and let me know how it goes!
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
A creamy, dairy-free pasta that is low in fat and full of flavor!
- [b]Creamy Cauliflower Sauce:[/b]
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (I grate them on my [url:1]microplane[/url])
- 1 head cauliflower florets, chopped
- 1 cup water (or low sodium vegetable broth for more intense flavor)
- 1/4 cup milk of choice
- salt/pepper to taste
- [b]Everything Else:[/b]
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 12 oz. whole wheat elbow noodles
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, chiffonade
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes and toss with 1 tsp. olive oil and pinch salt/pepper.
- Roast for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- While the tomatoes are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and make the sauce.
Make the Sauce:
- Heat 1 tsp. of olive oil in a sauce pan.
- Add the garlic and stir until lightly brown, taking care not to burn.
- In a seperate sauce pot, bring 4-5 cups of water to a boil and add the cauliflower. Reduce to a simmer and cook until fork tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Drain, let cool slightly and add the cauliflower to a blender, food processor (or use an [url:2]immersion blender[/url]) along with the garlic, 1 cup water, milk and puree until smooth.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water.
- Toss hot pasta with cauliflower sauce and roasted tomatoes. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the pasta water. Taste, adding more salt/pepper if needed.
- Add basil. Mix together. Eat. Smile.