Cauliflower Alfredo

Cooked cauliflower becomes creamy and luscious when pureed with stock and garlic. It’s a simple way to healthier Alfredo.  While most Alfredo recipes call for fettuccine, I prefer to use a short pasta, such as rotini that will grab onto the sauce. If you have an immersion blender, use that rather than transferring the cauliflower mixture in a standard blender.

8 oz uncooked whole-wheat fettuccine
3 cups chopped broccoli
3 cups chopped cauliflower, divided
1 Tbs white whole-wheat flour
1 cup chicken stock
3 garlic cloves
2/3 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 oz grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp grated lemon rind

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add broccoli and 1 cup cauliflower during last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve a mug of the pasta water then drain.
2. Place flour in a large saucepan. Gradually add stock, stirring constantly with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constently.
3. Add remaining 2 cups cauliflower and garlic. Bring to a boil; cook 15 minutes or until very tender.
4. Place cauliflower mixture in a blender. Add milk, butter, pepper, juice, and salt. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters); process until smooth.
5. Return cauliflower mixture to pan over low heat. Stir in half of the Parmesan. If needed, correct the thickness of the sauce with some of the reserved pasta water. Add pasta mixture and lemon rind. Toss well to coat noodles.
6. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Serve immediately.

Servings: 4