Pasta Shells with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce

This quick-cooking, family-friendly, decadent dinner boasts a double-dose of vegetables and is sure to please your little eaters. The cauliflower can be cooked in advance if desired and lightly warmed in the microwave before making the sauce.

Serves 4

You’ll Need

  • 4 cups cauliflower florets, fresh or frozen
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese + extra for serving
  • 3 Tbsp cream cheese
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 450 g small pasta like orecchiette or shells
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Fresh ground pepper

Prep and Cook

  • In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower until tender. Reserve ½ cup of cooking liquid, drain and transfer to a blender or food processor.
  • Add the garlic, Parmesan cheese, cream cheese, mustard, salt, lemon zest and cream. Puree until smooth, adding some of the cooking liquid to thin out the sauce, if needed. Place the sauce in a medium pot set over medium-low heat to keep warm. Stir occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, using the same saucepan as the cauliflower was cooked in, bring a second pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Add the peas to the pot in the last two minutes of cooking. When the water returns to a boil, drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Stir in the creamy cauliflower sauce and serve warm with extra Parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper.


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