Are you looking for vegetarian comfort food that isn’t loaded with calories and fat? Look no longer! This winter favorite features kale and cauliflower fresh from the farmers’ market. This rich, comforting pasta is lightened up with a cauliflower “cream.”
8 ounces rotini or fusilli pasta
5 cups cauliflower florets (steamed – al dente)
1 cup low fat milk
5 ounces Neufchatel cheese
2 tablespoons shallots (chopped)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped kale (divided)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package instructions. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
Heat 3 cups of the florets, the milk, Neufchatel and shallots in large saucepan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover pan and cook for 8 minutes more. Transfer contents of pan to a blender. Blend until silky smooth, adding another tablespoon of milk if necessary. Transfer this purée to a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Melt butter in same pot over medium heat. Set ¼ cup of the kale aside for garnish. Add the remaining kale to the butter and sauté for 2 minutes. Add pasta, 1¼ cups of the cauliflower purée, the remaining 2 cups of whole florets, 2/3 cup of the Parmesan and all of the lemon zest. Toss until sauce coats pasta, adding the reserved pasta water if dry. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
Serve pasta on warm plates and garnish with reserved kale and remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve lemon wedges on the side with which to squeeze over the pasta for additional flavor.