Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Fresh Spinach Leaves

Roasted cauliflower and creamy bechamel, there are several steps to this pasta, but it all comes together in beautiful harmony at the end.  Fancy enough to serve your guests and so good you will want to put it on your weekly recipe rotation.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound box of pasta ( any medium pasta shape will do, I used Cellentari  )
  • 2 big handfuls of  fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped chives

For the Vegan Bechamel Sauce

  • 1/3 cup soaked raw cashews, blended with 2 cups water to make the cashew milk
  • 1 cup vegetable broth + more to thin out sauce if needed
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter ( I use smart balance organic )
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp stone ground mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 pinch cayenne

For the Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 large head of Cauliflower cut into medium size florets
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Preparation

Step 1 –  Roast the cauliflower, preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit; arrange the cauliflower florets onto a large baking sheet; add about 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, garlicpowder, onion powder, parsley and mix well with your hands; place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, flip and roast for another 10 – 12 minutes until soft and golden, set aside.

Step 2 – Cook the pasta, drain and set aside; make the bechamel sauce by heating a saucepan on medium heat, add the 2 tbsp butter and let it melt before stirring in the 2 tbsp flour; stir continuously for about 3 minutes until it is a smooth paste; slowly whisk in the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer, continue to whisk while adding the cashew milk that you made; stir in the salt, pepper, mustard, garlic powder, cayenne, nutritional yeast and bring to a simmer let it cook for about 5 minutes until it thickens, taste and adjust seasoning if needed; if the sauce is too thick use a bit of the reserved vegetable broth to thin it out.

Step 3 – Combine the bechamel with the pasta, fold in the cauliflower and the spinach leaves; transfer to a serving dish and top with the chopped chives.

This dish heats up really well, if needed add a bit of warm broth to the pasta before heating to loosen the bechamel. Enjoy!

-Mia

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