The trick to any good pasta is the sauce it comes with. When I was a student I made tons of pasta. Ever since I found out that wheat is a no go, my pasta intake has lessened drastically. But I still have it sometimes and when I do I like to make it a real treat to myself. Pasta is a great dish as it is easy to make and versatile. This version has some special ingredients that you would suspect at first glance to be in there. All I’ll say is that there are some veggies hidden in this that you would not know about if I wasn’t telling you. This dish is easy to change into a vegetarian and vegan version too!
Serves 6 – 8. Prep time: 15 mins. Cooking time: 15 mins. Total: 30 minutes.
- Pasta (I used a spelt pasta this time, but you can use any type you like)
- 1 leak
- 1 zucchini/ courgette
- 250 grams of mushrooms
- 250 grams of diced ham
- Dille to taste
- Oregano to taste
- Basil to taste
- Good quality pesto (bought or make one yourself)
- Pepper to taste
For the sauce:
- Half a head of cauliflower
- 2/3 of 200 grams of creme fraîche
- 1 – 2 cloves of garlic
- food processor
- 1 large pan
- 1 small pan
If you’ve paid attention you will now know the secret to this dish. Yep, the cream sauce we’re making is mostly made of cauliflower. And that is why this dish is a tad healthier than your average cream sauce pasta. It is also the reason why this dish is easily turned into a vegetarian version (just leave out the meat and add in double the amount of mushrooms). To make this vegan you simply leave out the cream and substitute with a bit of water. If you get the consistency right, you don’t need the cream to make this a cream sauce, just the cauliflower will do. Right, on to the steps:
Cut up your cauliflower and boil until tender. The softer your cauliflower the better it will blend. Don’t overcook it though because that will mean you lose flavor.
While your cauliflower is bubbling away, you can start cutting up your other ingredients.
Put your garlic, cream and cauliflower in a food processor. It’s best to let the cauliflower cool down a little bit before you stick the lid on as the heat might cause your top to pop off otherwise. Now just blend until you get a smooth creamy sauce. If it’s too chunk add a few tablespoons of water (or milk if you’d prefer that) to help it along). You can also season it with some pepper if you’d like.
Use the pan in which you boiled your cauliflower to boil your pasta. Read the packaging for instructions.
Put some oil in a large pan which will be deep enough to hold all your ingredients later on.
Add the leak and ham. Give it a few stirs and wait for the ham to brown a little and the leak to get a glazed look.
Add courgette and seasoning. Wait for your courgette to shrink completely before moving on to the next step.
Add about a table spoon of pesto and stir it through the veggies. Making sure it’s all spread around nicely.
Add the cauliflower/ cream sauce and heat it up. Your sauce will still be warm at this point so it should only take seconds.
Add your pasta and give it a good stir.
And that’s it! Quick, simple and something that is feasible after a long day. And the hidden cauliflower will give you that extra bit of nutrients that you will need at that point. I like to finish off the dish with some extra pesto (because I just love pesto!). And if you liked this pasta recipe, I have another ready to go in the near future which is tomato and 100% veggie based. So please like this post and comment below if you’d like to see that soon.
What’s your favorite pasta recipe?