Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with White Bean-Parsley Sauce

 When I was home for Thanksgiving I had a conversation with my sister about getting beans into her diet to provide some more fiber and protein to her simple carb-loving heart.  Her response was that she doesn’t like the texture of beans.  I think this is a common feeling that people have.  Behold, this recipe.  Making it into a sauce is a great way to get the fiber into you, while your mind tricks you into believing it’s just another fatty Alfredo-type sauce.  Now your body and your mind win!

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Roasted Cauliflower Pasta with White Bean-Parsley Sauceslightly adapted from Vanilla & Spice

Serves: 5

1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into bite size pieces (roughly 4 cups)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

14.5 oz box dried whole wheat fusilli pasta

For the sauce:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 tbsp. dried parsley leaves

1 can no-salt-added cannelini beans, rinsed and drained

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Sprinkle of salt and fresh ground pepper

1/2-3/4 cup vegetable stock

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Chop 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.
  2. 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 dried parsley and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the beans, vinegar, salt and pepper and cook until beans are heated through, 3-4 minutes.
  3. If you don’t have a handheld immersion blender (don’t I wish I did!), 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Serve with a side salad or vegetables to slightly bring up the calorie content of this meal but not the carbs.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 474 calories, 8.1g fat (.8g saturated), 81g carbohydrate (15g fiber), 22.8g protein

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