Creamy & Healthy Caprese Pasta

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on May 7, 2013

in Italian, simple recipe, vegetables, vegetarian

I’m a woman obsessed.

No, seriously. It’s very rare when I make the same thing multiple times within a week, let alone within a few days. I’ve eaten this recipe four times in five days.

I happened upon this healthy alfredo sauce recipe over at Pinch of Yum and since I have a thing for all things cheesy and creamy and pasta-y,  I had to try it. The first time, I made way too much sauce, so we used it as the base for a (very unphotogenic) white pizza, then for pasta as a side dish to baked chicken fingers (also unphotogenic). I had to make it again and make it pretty to share with you all.

Creamy Caprese Pasta

Yeah, I’m pleased with that one. It’s pretty enough. I used an interpretation of the original recipe, whole grain pasta, loads of fresh baby tomatoes, and tons of fresh basil to make this a beautiful, delicious, and super-healthy meal. By my calculations, each serving WITH the pasta was only 386 calories and 8 grams of fat. Not bad for something that tastes remarkably like restaurant alfredo.

I mean, seriously, this is alfredo sauce made with flipping CAULIFLOWER. Each serving of sauce has half a serving of vegetables in it. I swear, if I hadn’t said that it was cauliflower, or known that it was cauliflower, I absolutely never would’ve guessed.

pasta 1

The recipe for the sauce itself is simple, and the possibilities for uses are endless. It was great on a pizza, I can see it being great on other vegetables, rice, baked in a macaroni and cheese type dish, or seriously, just eaten like a soup. Not that I did that. Nope, not me.

Creamy & Healthy Caprese Pasta

by What’s For Dinner?

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: blender simmer entree low-fat vegetarian cauliflower tomato pasta spring

Ingredients (Serves 5-6)

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 pound pasta, cooked and kept hot
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 6 large basil leaves, chopped

Instructions

Cook the cauliflower until soft.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan and add the garlic.

Cook over medium heat until the garlic is soft and translucent, about 6 minutes.

Add the milk, half and half, cauliflower, garlic, salt & pepper to the pitcher of a blender.

Puree until smooth, and return the sauce to the saucepan, simmering slowly for a few minutes.

Add the parmesan cheese and stir well.

Top the pasta with the sauce, then stir in the halved tomatoes and basil.

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creamy caprese pasta-3.jpg

While the sauce does indeed taste a little like cauliflower, it’s not overpowering or obvious, and is honestly rather pleasant. The garlic is key too. Make sure to not brown it or overcook it before adding it to the sauce. Fresh ground black pepper added just the right amount of kick, and the sheer taste of summer with the basil and tomatoes finally put me in a Summer state of mind. 

creamy caprese pasta-1.jpg

Ok, I’m done with the gratuitous pasta pictures now. I promise. For now. Maybe…

xoxo

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This recipe blog post has been Digiproved © 2013

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Biz May 8, 2013 at 9:56 AM

I am not sure just by looking at that, that there was even cauliflower in it – I need to try that! :D

I am not a fan of grape tomatoes though, so I may sub in roasted red pepper.
Biz´s last blog post ..I didn’t know.

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