You’ve got to try this Creamy Cauliflower Pasta with Kale and Chickpeas recipe! What’s not to love about a creamy yet light pasta dish that is packed with nutrition? We pair it with an excellent white wine from Paso Robles. Disclosure: The wine was provided as a complimentary sample.
We hit the ball out of the park with this new Creamy Cauliflower Past recipe! OK, I know the Super Bowl is the big game coming up, but I’m a baseball guy at heart.
Roasted cauliflower gets pureed with garlic and coconut cream to create a creamy rich consistency. Roasting cauliflower gives it great flavor and the garlic provides some nice kick here.
Adding kale to the cream cauliflower adds some more nutrients along with a bit of color. Cauliflower is a very healthy ingredient, but on its own pureed cauliflower doesn’t have a lot of aesthetic appeal.
Adding chickpeas to the creamy cauliflower pasta adds some protein and fiber, while making the dish more substantial.
I’d like to say I invented the idea of making a creamy cauliflower sauce, but I got the idea from Pinch of Yum. The POY recipe boils the cauliflower, I like roasting it for a rich flavor. For more cauliflower goodness, try our Curried Cauliflower Dip.
Making Creamy Cauliflower Pasta
This Creamy Cauliflower Pasta with Kale and Chickpeas is easy to make. You will definitely need a good food processor! (Amazon affiliate link provided to the Cuisinart brand that is a workhorse in our kitchen).
The cauliflower takes about 25 minutes to roast, and you can start the pasta water boiling toward the end of the roasting time.
Make the creamy cauliflower purée as the pasta cooks. It’s a simple matter of puréeing the cauliflower along with the garlic, kale and cream.
I used coconut cream as we had some on hand. Stick with that to makes this a vegan dish. You can use milk or heavy cream if you like; although I’d recommend milk or the coconut cream if you want to keep the dish healthy as possible.
Toss the pasta immediately with the cauliflower kale puree, then add in the chickpeas. You are ready to serve and enjoy with a good glass of wine!
Wine Pairing for Creamy Cauliflower Pasta
I’ve teamed up with the folks at Teuwen Communications to sample a variety of wines from Paso Robles. A nice treat! I tend to be a fan of the region’s wines, and this is giving me a chance to try some new ones.
I decided to try the 2016 Summerwood Marsanne Alta Colina ($35, 15% ABV) with the Creamy Cauliflower Pasta. Paso Robles wineries produce a number of wines like Marsanne that are most closely associated with Frances Rhone region.
The Summerwood Marsanne is a deep rich gold in the glass. Citrus and wet stones on the nose. Lemon fruit on the palate with a little touch of spice, and a creamy mouthfeel and good finish. A very good wine!
I will often go for a Marsanne or white blend including Marsanne when I want a fairly full-bodied white wine, but a bit lighter than a Chardonnay. As suspected, the Marsanne pairing worked out very well with the creamy sauce. The Paso Marsanne is a bit more full-bodied than its typical Rhone counterpart, which helped it stand up to the texture sauce and the garlic kick.
I describe the wine as being fairly full bodied, although the tasting sheet describes it as medium bodied. Perhaps it is the 15% alcohol content giving it the ripeness that I’m picking up. I was quite surprised to see the 15% figure after trying the wine. As a well-made wine, it doesn’t come across as being high alcohol.
Summerwood is owned by Kesao Fukae, and is named after his son, Natsuki (“Summerwood” in Japanese). Their wines are made from grapes in the Willow Creek and Templeton Gap regions of Paso.
Just 90 cases of the 2016 Summerwood Marsanne Alta Colina were produced, so I’m happy to have enjoyed a bottle! The wine is aged for 12 months on lees, 50% new French oak and 50% neutral oak barrels.
Summerwood makes a variety of other wines, white and red, mostly based on Rhone varietals and Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for a chance to try another Summerwood wine!
Other wine pairing options
The Summerwood Marsanne is definitely a great choice for this dish. But if you don’t have it on hand, we have also enjoyed this recipe with a basic California Chardonnay. Just stay away from Chard that is very oaky or buttery.Print
Creamy Cauliflower Pasta with Kale and Chickpeas
Roasted cauliflower puréed with kale and garlic, then tossed with pasta and chickpeas for delicious, healthy meal.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 45 mins
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: main
- Method: roasting + stove top
- Cuisine: Italian
- 1 head of cauliflower, florets chopped (about 4 to 5 cups chopped cauliflower)
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup coconut cream ,(see notes) divided
- 2 cups kale
- salt and peper to taste
- 1 14 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 lb whole wheat elbow macaroni or other short pasta
- optional cheese at pass at the table for topping. Skip this or use nondairy cheese to make this a vegan dish.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil along with a bit of salt. Roast the cauliflower the cauliflower for about 25 minutes. The cauliflower is ready when it is starting to get tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. When done, remove the cauliflower from oven and set aside to cool briefly.
- Begin boiling water to cook the pasta, and cook according to package instructions.
- Make the creamy cauliflower sauce as the pasta cooks. Add the garlic to a food processor and pulse the blade to mince the garlic. Add the roasted cauliflower and ¾ cup of the coconut cream, and purée. Add the kale and purée to incorporate the kale into the sauce.
- When the pasta is cooked to your liking, reserve ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta. Toss the pasta immediately with the creamy cauliflower sauce along with the reserved pasta water and the remaining ¼ cup of coconut cream. Plate the pasta, and pass the cheese at the table if you like. Enjoy!
- We prepared this as a vegan dish, using coconut cream we had on hand. If you like, you could use milk or heavy cream instead of the coconut cream. I’ve included an Amazon affiliate link to a coconut cream product that looks similar to what I used, although I used a different brand.
- 3 cloves garlic does create a strong garlic flavor. Drop to 2 if you want a more moderate garlic taste.
Keywords: cauliflower, cauliflower pasta sauce, creamy cauliflower pasta, wine pairing, Paso wine
More Vegetarian Pasta Recipes
- Tuscan Kale Pasta
- Vegetarian Baked Pasta
- Creamy Roasted Acorn Squash Pasta
- Pasta with Red Lentils and Ginger