Cauliflower Carbonara

written by Julie Cohn

Apparently cauliflower is one of the “in” foods right now.  Does it make me super cool because I liked cauliflower before it became fashionable?  Seriously. I’ve had a long time love affair with cauliflower–boiled, roasted, cheesy, or raw, cauliflower is always been one of my top three favorite veggies (Brussels Sprouts and rutabagas are my other two, in case you were wondering).   My husband and son on the other hand…not so much.  Yet when I whipped up a batch of this Cauliflower Carbonara, my son liked it so much, he came back for seconds and asked for it for leftovers the next day.  (Who is this kid?!)

I don’t know if this is lower calorie than traditional carbonara, but this recipe has no eggs, less cream, and less Parmesan than the traditional recipe.  You will never make carbonara any other way again!

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Cauliflower Carbonara

  • 1 Large Shallot, minced fine
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced fine
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1-2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower
  • 1 c. Low Fat Chicken Broth
  • 1 c. Milk (2 %)
  • 1/2 c. Parmesan Cheese
  • 2-3 Pieces of Bacon, cooked crispy
  • 1 Package of Pasta Noodles
  • Parmesan to taste

Melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat, then add the shallot and garlic and saute 2-3 minutes. Wash and trim the leaves off the cauliflower, then cut into small flowerettes.

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Add to the pan with the shallot, salt, and garlic and stir for 2-3 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and heat to boiling, then lower to simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the milk and simmer another 5 minutes. While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare the pasta per package directions.  Use an immersion blender (or food processor) to puree the cauliflower sauce for about a minute.

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I left my sauce a little bit chunky with some pieces of cauliflower, but if you want your sauce completely smooth, keep pureeing.  Add the Parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon and blend well, simmering on low for 2-3 minutes more, until the Parmesan is melted into the sauce.  Stir the sauce into the pasta noodles and serve immediately.  Sprinkle with more Parmesan to taste.

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