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Creamy Roast Cauliflower & Chickpea Pasta

 An incredibly easy creamy pasta sauce made with roasted cauliflower and chickpeas and served with green vegetables for a nice contrast.

creamy roast cauliflower & chickpea pasta

CREAMY ROAST CAULIFLOWER & CHICKPEA PASTA


A creamy roast cauliflower & chickpea pasta that's super easy to make and tastes great.

The cauliflower is roasted then whizzed up in a blender or food processor into a creamy sauce with chickpeas.

I like to serve it with fine beans and sugar snap peas, which are also known as snow peas.

It's a really comforting bowl of pasta.

a close up of cauliflower pasta

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE ROAST CAULIFLOWER & CHICKPEA PASTA



There are no fancy ingredients in this dish and it's super easy to make. Here's what you need:

EQUIPMENT

  • BAKING TRAY - for roasting the cauliflower
  • BLENDER - or either a food processor or electric stick blender to whizz up the sauce
  • LARGE POT - to cook the pasta and veg
  • COLANDER  - to drain the pasta and veg


INGREDIENTS

  • CAULIFLOWER 
  • VEGAN SMOKED CHEESE - or you can use a vegan cheddar, just use the cheese you  usually buy, be that vegan or not
  • NUTRITIONAL YEAST 
  • DIJON MUSTARD - make sure it's suitable for vegans, some brands are not, although most are ok
  • GARLIC
  • OAT MILK - or your regular milk
  • CREME FRAICHE - we use Oatly creme fraiche, if you can't find creme fresh you could use sour cream or cream cheese and a little bit more milk
  • SALT & PEPPER
  • CHICKPEAS - I used tinned chickpeas for convenience
  • PASTA
  • FINE BEANS
  • SUGAR SNAP PEAS


caulfilower

CAULIFLOWER


I used a small head of cauliflower for this sauce, but you could use a larger cauliflower.

Using a larger cauliflower means you will end up with more sauce and may need to add a bit more milk.

If I was using a large cauliflower, I would set aside a few of the roasted florets to add to the pasta as I served it and whizz up the rest into a sauce.


SERVING CAULIFLOWER TO FUSSY KIDS


My son loved cauliflower in cheese sauce when he was wee, but decided (as they do), he didn't like cauliflower a few years ago and nothing will change his mind.

This recipe is a fabulous way to make sure he is still getting some cauliflower, which is so nutritious, in his diet.

I know it's sneaking it in, but sometimes we do what we need to do to keep them topped up with the good stuff.

If your child is not keen on the fine beans or sugar snap peas I added to this pasta before serving, you could add more child-friendly veg before serving.

If they like broccoli you could cook that with the pasta, or you could keep it simple with corn, peas and some chopped cherry tomatoes.

Tweak it to suit your child.


smoked vegan cheese

VEGAN SMOKED CHEESE



I don't add a lot of cheese to this pasta, but adding a little really helps with the flavour of the sauce.

I used vegan smoked applewood cheese, which now comes grated in a convenient re-sealable bag. 

It's probably cheaper to buy a block and grate it but I find this handy to have in the fridge.

If you are a vegetarian, feel free to use the standard smoked applewood cheese or another smoked cheese.

Can't find smoked cheese? Just use cheddar or vegan cheddar.


Nutritional Yeast - nooch

DO I HAVE TO ADD NUTRITIONAL YEAST?


No, you don't have to add nutritional yeast to this sauce, but it does help with the cheesy flavour.

I also like to add it to dishes when I can as it's a good source of Vitamin B12, which can be hard to include in your diet.

If you can't find it (most supermarkets sell it now), you can skip it and add more cheese instead.

Wondering what nutritional yeast is?

Nutritional yeast, also known as nooch, is a savoury flavoured yeast flake that introduces an almost cheesy flavour. ]

Don't worry, it's an inactive yeast.


farfalle pasta

WHICH TYPE OF PASTA SHOULD I USE?


Farfalle pasta (bow tie) pasta is a fun pasta to use for this dish, but it would work well with so many different types of pasta. 

The creamy sauce coats the pasta beautifully.

Here are a few pasta shapes you could try with this healthy pasta sauce.

  1. CONCHIGLIE - shell pasta
  2. FARFALLE - bow tie pasta
  3. FUSILLI - pasta twists
  4. PENNE - tubular pasta
  5. RIGATONI - tubular pasta (larger than penne)
  6. SPAGHETTI - strands of pasta


fine beans and sugar snap peas

COOKING VEGETABLES WITH PASTA



Vegetables can be cooked in the same water as the pasta as it cooks.

If you're cooking pasta, it should be in a large pot with lots of boiling, salted water, so there should be plenty of room to add vegetables to cook at the same time.

It means fewer pots and less washing up, which I am always a fan of.

Just add the vegetables at the right time, so they cook until they are al dente (have a bit of bite), you don't want soggy veg.


CAN I USE DIFFERENT VEGETABLES?


Yes, once you have made the sauce, you can change the vegetables you serve with the pasta every time.

I added fine beans and sugar snap peas (also known as snow peas).

Here are a few more ideas for vegetables you can add to this pasta.

  • ROASTED CAULIFLOWER, CARROTS & BROCCOLI - added at the end
  • CARROTS & PEAS - cooked with the pasta
  • CORN & CHERRY TOMATOES - add the corn to the cooking pasta for the last couple of minutes to warm through, then add the cherry tomatoes when you are mixing the sauce through the pasta
  • SPINACH AND PEAS - add both to the cooking pasta right at the end
  • MUSHROOMS - sauteed in a little olive oil with garlic and seasoned with salt and pepper, added when you serve the pasta up


pasta water in a glass

DON'T THROW AWAY ALL THE PASTA WATER!


You might not think about the pasta water as you pour it down the drain while you are draining the pasta.

Pay attention to it. It's fabulous stuff.

Towards the end of cooking carefully scoop some out with a glass or jug, then add it to pasta sauce before you serve it.

It helps to thin sauces but also makes a sauce gloriously silky.

I scoop out at the end of cooking, when the starch from the pasta has seeped in the water, in a short glass, then add it a bit at a time to my cooked sauce until it is just right.

It's a great tip and one Italian chefs swear by.


MORE PASTA TIPS


Here are a few more tips for the best pasta:


  1. Cook pasta in a large pot with a lot of rapidly boiling water.
  2. Salt the water.
  3. Don't add oil, the pasta won't stick together if you are cooking it in a big enough pot, with plenty of rapidly boiling water and you give it a stir as you add it.
  4. Give it a couple of stirs while it is cooking to help it along.
  5. Only cook until al dente (with a bit of firmness). Check the packet instructions and check the pasta a minute before the packet suggests.
  6. Scoop out some of the pasta sauce in a glass or jug to add to your sauce to make it silky or to thin it. Add a glug at a time until your sauce is just right.
  7. Drain the pasta in a colander, give a good shake, then return to the pan.
  8. Add the sauce to the pasta and mix well to coat.
  9. Serve right away while hot.


TWEAKS FOR THIS PASTA DISH



Here are a couple of changes you might like to try when making this pasta.

Once I whizzed up the cheesy cauliflower sauce, I added the chickpeas and whizzed them into the sauce, but you could just mix the whole chickpeas (I use tinned) into the sauce, without blending them.

You can also add some chilli flakes or paprika to the sauce for a bit of a kick.



vegan cauliflower pasta in a pasta bowl

MORE VEGAN PASTA RECIPES TO TRY



Here are a few more of my favourite pasta dishes for you to try:

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An incredibly easy creamy pasta sauce made with roasted cauliflower and chickpeas and served with green vegetables for a nice contrast.

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HOW TO MAKE CAULIFLOWER CHICKPEA PASTA

Scroll down for step-by-step photos followed by a full printable recipe. If you don't have a printer, hit print then save as a PDF.

Making Cauliflower & Chickpea Pasta - step 1

STEP 1

  • Preheat the oven
  • Break the cauliflower into florets and spread out on a baking tray.
  • Drizzle with a little olive oil, then season with salt and pepper and roast.
  • Once it is charred at the edges and soft, add to your blender or food processor and pop the pasta on to cook.


Making Cauliflower & Chickpea Pasta - step 2

STEP 2

  • Now to make the sauce.
  • Add the cheese, nutritional yeast, dijon mustard, creme fraiche (see tips above for substitutes), milk, salt and pepper to the cauliflower in the blender jug.
  • Whizz until fairly smooth.


Making Cauliflower & Chickpea Pasta - step 3

STEP 3

  • Add the chickpeas (I used tinned chickpeas) and whizz until fairly smooth. It looks super thick, but we will be adding some of the pasta water.


Making Cauliflower & Chickpea Pasta - step 4

STEP 4

  • Add the fine beans and sugar snap peas towards the end of cooking time, to cook with the pasta.
  • Before draining the pasta, scoop out some pasta water with a glass or jug. Be careful not to scald yourself.
  • Pour some of the water into the sauce  (not too much)and stir in, until it is silky.
  • Drain the pasta and veg, return to the pan and add the sauce and mix well.
  • Serve  (you can top with vegan parmesan or more vegan smoked cheese if you like) and enjoy!


pasta,. creamy pasta, vegan pasta, cauliflower pasta, cauliflower pasta sauce, blender pasta sauce, cauliflower and chickpea pasta
dinner
Italian, vegan
Yield: 4-6
Author: Jacqueline Meldrum
Creamy Roast Cauliflower & Chickpea Pasta

Creamy Roast Cauliflower & Chickpea Pasta

An incredibly easy creamy pasta sauce made with roasted cauliflower and chickpeas and served with green vegetables for a nice contrast.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 4 tablespoons grated vegan smoked cheese (or cheddar)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons vegan creme fraiche
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 250ml (1 cup) oat milk (or your regular milk)
  • salt and pepper
  • 400g (14 oz) tin chickpeas, drained (drained weight 240g/8  1/2 oz)
  • 160g (5  1/2 oz) sugar snap peas (snow peas)
  • 180g (6  1/3 oz) fine beans
  • 400g farfalle (bow tie) pasta

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/160cn fan/350f/gas mark 5.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into florets and spread on a baking tray.
  3. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then bake for 20-25 minutes until soft and charred at the edges.
  4. While that is roasting you can get the water boiling for the pasta, salt it then add the pasta.
  5. A few minutes before the end of the cook time, add the green veg to the pasta water.
  6. Now make the sauce, add the cauliflower and all the other ingredients to a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth. Taste to check the seasoning.
  7. Before you drain the pasta, scoop some of the pasta water out with a jug or glass and pour some of the water into the sauce to thin it a little and make it wonderfully silky.
  8. Drain the cooked (al dente) pasta and veg, then return to the pan and mix in the sauce.
  9. Serve while hot and enjoy!

Notes:

  • If you can't find creme fraiche, you could add sour cream or cream cheese and a little extra milk.
  • You can add a little more milk to the sauce if you think it's too thick, but remember we add some pasta water to thin it down.
  • You can whizz up the cheesy cauliflower sauce and then add the chickpeas to it whole if you like, instead of blending them in.
  • You may also serve the pasta topped with grated vegan parmesan or more of the grated vegan cheese.

Calories

4 portions = 549 calories per portion

5 portions = 439 calories per portion

6 portions = 366 calories per portion

Nutrition Facts

Calories

548.53

Fat (grams)

15.05

Sat. Fat (grams)

5.40

Carbs (grams)

84.14

Fiber (grams)

15.88

Net carbs

68.25

Sugar (grams)

17.33

Protein (grams)

23.56

Sodium (milligrams)

306.79

Cholesterol (grams)

20.29

26 comments

  1. The flavor in this dish is AMAZING! So flavorful, so good, everyone loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love cauliflower. I am definitely going to try this one. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh good. You can leave some florets whole too if you like.

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  3. I love this vegan creamy pasta dish. the roasted cauliflower adds a delicious depth of flavor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roasting cauliflower does give it a wonderful flavour.

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  4. We love anything with roasted cauliflower. This looks and sounds amazing! I can't wait to try it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This looks so good Jacqueline. Another one to add to my list. Jill

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am going to follow your suggestion and try this with sweetcorn and peas for my fussy four year old.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes definitely a good option to add the sweetcorn and peas instead for kids and you can add a sprinkle of grated cheese (whichever type you buy) on top too.

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  7. I made this last night but added more cheddar instead of nooch. I will definitely be making it again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes good idea. It's always good to tweak with what you have or what you prefer.

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  8. This was so good! I wasn’t sure how my kids would react to the cauliflower, but it was a big hit! The whole family lives this recipe!

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    Replies
    1. Well I call that a win! I'm glad you all enjoyed it.

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  9. This sauce is SO delicious! Who knew cauliflower and chickpeas could result in such a creamy texture?! Will be making this many more times for all our pasta dinners.

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    Replies
    1. I am so pleased you enjoyed it Gina. Thabks for letting me know.

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  10. This pasta turned out great. Will definitely make it again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh good. I am glad you were inspired to try it and enjoyed it.

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  11. What a great way to add some roasted cauliflower to a pasta dish. Looks delicious!

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  12. Such a delicious Cauliflower pasta. I love that it also has beans making it even more nutritious.

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    Replies
    1. Yes the beans add a nice amount of protein to the dish.

      Delete

I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x