Do you like a creamy pasta sauce? If you’d like a healthier option than traditional alfredo sauce, you’ve got to try this Lightened Creamy Penne with Broccoli!
When experimenting with recipes for my Collards & Kale Cookbook, I came up with a creamy pasta sauce that uses silken tofu for its consistency. Pureeing silken tofu with a bit of olive oil is an easy way to make a healthy, creamy sauce. I add some garlic and parsley for some extra flavor, and boom, you have a tasty sauce ready to go for your pasta. The sauce is vegan, so you can make this as a vegan dish by skipping the cheese or using a dairy free substitute.
In today’s recipe I toss the lightened creamy penne with healthy steamed broccoli. When I get the broccoli steamed just tender, my ten year old will actually eat this healthy veggie with a smile on his face, so I’m always looking for more ways to use it!
Wine Pairing: I often gravitate toward Chardonnay or other full bodied whites for creamy pasta. But I had some 2014 Terra Santa Ile de Beaute Rosé ($10, 11.5 % alcohol) on hand, and thought I’d give it a try with our lightened creamy penne. This rosé is from Corsica, made from 100% Sciaccarellu grapes. It’s fresh and fruity, medium bodied. There’s a little kick in the pasta from the garlic, which is offset by the melon fruit of the wine. So I’d say you could enjoy this pasta with a rosé you like, provided that it is one with enough substance to stand up to the cream. But chard could do nicely, too. Cheers!
- 12 ozs penne pasta (other short shape would work)
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ pack of silken tofu
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- pinch of salt
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 bunch of broccoli, thick stalks removed and florets chopped
- optional parmesan cheese for serving (use dairy free for a vegan dish)
- Boil a pot of water to start cooking penne according to package instructions.
- Make the tofu cream sauce as the pasta cooks. Place the garlic cloves in a food processor, pulse to chop the garlic finely. Add the tofu, parsley, olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes, and puree. This gives you a nice creamy sauce. Set aside.
- Place the chopped broccoli on a vegetable steamer inside a pan with an inch or two of water at the bottom. Bring to a boil, and steam covered for 5 minutes. Drain the broccoli when steamed and set aside.
- Drain the penne when cooked, and toss immediately with the creamy tofu sauce.
- Stir the broccoli into the pasta with the creamy sauce. Serve hot, passing optional cheese for topping at the table.