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!
Lightened Creamy Penne with Broccoli
Silken tofu adds creaminess without the calories to this Lightened Creamy Penne with Broccoli. The dish can easily be made vegan by omitting the optional parmesan cheese topping or using a dairy-free alternative.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Total Time: 25 mins
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: Italian
- 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.