When I first saw the recipe for healthy fettuccine alfredo with cauliflower sauce by Pinch of Yum on Foodgawker, I immediately fell in love with the idea of making a perfectly healthy alternative to my favorite alfredo sauce. Plus, seeing this sauce immediately brought back the memories of a few years back, during Atkins diet craze, when I used to make “fake” mashed potatoes using cauliflower and how much I enjoyed it!
Making this healthy alfredo sauce has long been on my mind but what stopped me from making it was simple logistics: I would forget to buy cauliflower at the store! Finally, here we are – with several cauliflower florets in the refrigerator, I was ready to go!
I made several adjustments to the recipe to bring it closer to the true fettuccine alfredo:
1) I sauteed shallots and garlic in a little bit of butter which added a really nice subtle flavor.
2) I added 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese to the sauce – you are, of course, free to add more if you like.
3) I added sweet peas which add a touch of sweetness and perfectly compliment just about any pasta dish. Sweet peas went perfectly with the creamy cauliflower sauce!
What can I say about the result of this endeavor? I simply love cauliflower in mashed form! With the addition of a little bit of heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, shallots, garlic, and sweet peas, this dish becomes a pure vegetarian heaven! I literally could not stop eating it. Right now, my head is full of many other variations I’d love to try with the cauliflower sauce in place of alfredo, but for now, please enjoy this recipe!
Healthy fettuccine alfredo with cauliflower sauce and sweet peas
Total time: 1 hour
Inspired by Pinch of Yum.
- 1 big cauliflower floret
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 shallots, minced, or 2 tablespoons of minced onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup (up to 1/2 cup) heavy cream
- 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano-Reggiano) or more
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups fresh shelled peas (or use frozen)
- 1 pound dried fettuccine pasta
- fresh parsley, for garnish, optional
Makes 6 servings.
This cauliflower sauce reheats beautifully, so feel free to refrigerate the leftovers and reheat them later.
1) Clean the cauliflower head from green leaves, and chop it into reasonably large but manageable pieces. Place it in the big sauce pan with water, bring to boil and boil for 30-40 minutes until cauliflower is really soft. Remove from heat and drain cauliflower from water. Do reserve some cooking water.
2) Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add minced shallot (or 2 tablespoons of minced regular onion) and minced garlic and saute until tender. Add heavy cream and Parmesan cheese and bring to a boil. Cook just for a minute, stirring, until cheese melts. Remove from the heat.
3) In a food processor, combine cauliflower from step 1 and creamy sauce from step 2. Process really well, until a very creamy sauce forms. Feel free to add more heavy cream or cooking water (using 1/4 measuring cup) from step 1 to thin the sauce if it is too thick. Transfer sauce into a large sauce pan and keep it warm on the stove top. Season with salt and pepper, and nutmeg, to taste.
4) Cook the peas in boiling water for about 5 minutes, or according to instructions if using frozen peas.
5) Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the fettuccine in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.
6) Combine the cauliflower sauce (from step 3), cooked shelled peas (from step 4), and pasta cooked al dente (from step 5). Toss to combine thoroughly – over medium heat. Stir the sauce constantly. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.