A bowl of warm pasta with lots of veggies and sauce is one of my favourite comfort foods in the winter. I grew up eating my parents' homemade veggie and tomato pasta sauce and I still look forward to eating that meal whenever I'm at home!
It may seem surprising that I've never actually made my own tomato sauce for pasta! I like to think the reason is that I want to keep my family's recipe special by not attempting to create my own version, but sometimes the truth is that I just use jarred pasta sauce. Another reason is that I'm always tempted to try new recipes and unique ideas for pasta using different combinations of noodles, veggies, and sauces other than tomato.
The latest pasta recipe that I've tried was inspired by a white bean and sage pasta recipe in the cookbook Vegan Planet. The original version was a simple linguine tossed in a sauce made from white beans and vegetable stock and infused with fresh sage.
For my own version, I added some garlic for even more flavour, used a thicker noodle to catch all of the sauce, and added some roasted cauliflower so that the dish would have something other than just noodles and sauce.
I thought this combination really worked well together! The sauce ended up being nice and thick and creamy, even though there was no dairy in it. It had lots of flavour from the garlic, sage, vegetable stock and lemon juice, and the roasted cauliflower was the perfect addition!
Overall, this was a healthy, yet still hearty and comforting pasta dish for winter. And the best part was that my leftovers lasted me all through the week, so I could look forward to coming home out of the cold weather and heating up a bowl for dinner!
Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with White Bean-Sage SauceAdapted from Vegan Planet
For the cauliflower:
1 head cauliflower
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
For the sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup torn sage leaves
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Scant 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/2-3/4 cup vegetable stock
For the pasta:
1 lb dried pasta, such as fusilli
Lemon wedges for serving
Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast for 25-35 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic and sage and cook for 1 more minute. Add the beans, vinegar, salt and pepper and cook until beans are heated through, 2-3 minutes.
Transfer contents of the pan to a blender or food processor and blend, gradually adding ½ cup of vegetable stock. If you are making the sauce ahead of time, transfer it to a small saucepan and keep warm over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and return pasta to the pot. Add the sauce and the cauliflower and stir until thoroughly mixed. If the sauce is too thick, add more of the remaining 1/4 cup vegetable stock. Transfer pasta to a serving dish.
Serve warm, with additional ground pepper and fresh lemon wedges for squeezing over top.
Makes 4-5 servings.