Lighter Spaghetti Alfredo with Cauliflower
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head cauliflower
cored and separated into florets
4 cups water
½ teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 (14 ounce) package spaghetti
½ cup fine dried bread crumbs
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
plus extra for garnishing
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook and stir garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cauliflower, water, Italian herbs, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper to taste. Bring water to a boil, cover, and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, about 12 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl.
Meanwhile, combine bread crumbs, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir until cheese has melted and mixture is browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off heat, sprinkle with salt to taste, and mix in basil; set aside.
Add cream to cauliflower mixture and puree in the pot with a stick blender until smooth and creamy. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese until melted; season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Mix in lemon juice with spaghetti and stir in Alfredo sauce to coat pasta. Serve topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and the seasoned bread crumb mixture.
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