Andy Bennett's Creamy Cauliflower Pasta Carbonara

November 29, 2017

Author Notes: Though this is a pasta hugged by cream sauce—with all the warm, fuzzy feelings such a thing has to offer—it’s made mostly of vegetables, with no cream or egg. You’d counterintuitively call this cream-saucy pasta light—fresh, even. The secret is that cauliflower’s cell walls are naturally abundant in pectin, which helps the cooked vegetable thicken voluptuously when blended. It’s frankly a wonder we hadn’t been pouring it over our pastas (and everything else) before. Adapted from chef Andy Bennett and Rouge Tomate Chelsea.Genius Recipes

Serves: 2
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min


Pasta Carbonara

  • 1 tablespoon (12g) olive oil
  • 1 cup (100g) sliced spring onions or green onions
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) roughly chopped garlic
  • 1 cup (200g) Creamy Cauliflower Sauce (from below)
  • 2 cups dried pasta, (250g) cooked al dente pasta (from about 125g dry pasta—for the rigatoni we used, this was about 2 cups dry pasta)
  • 2/3 cup (90g) fresh or frozen green peas, cooked in salted water
  • 1/2 cup Scant, (10g) chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 tablespoons (12g) finely grated Parmesan
  • Smoked sea salt, to taste (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (4g) toasted breadcrumbs, or more to taste

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

  • 2 cups (200g) cauliflower florets (in roughly 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 2 1/4 cups (500g) vegetable stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup (100g) olive oil
  • Salt to taste
In This Recipe


Pasta Carbonara

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the spring onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the onions and garlic are turning light golden. Add the sauce, pasta, and peas and heat everything through, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes.
  2. Once hot, stir in the cheese and parsley, season with smoked salt and black pepper to taste and place in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and serve immediately.

Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the cauliflower with vegetable stock and simmer, partially covered, until really tender, about 20 minutes. Blend the cauliflower and stock till smooth with a blender or hand blender. While the blender is running, slowly pour in olive oil to emulsify.
  2. Store any leftovers airtight in the refrigerator and use as a creamy sauce, warm or cold.

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