Cauliflower purée, sautéed garlic, onion and crumbled blue cheese combine to make a fast and flavorful, meatless sauce for pasta. Rotini is an especially good choice because the thick, rich sauce clings so nicely inside the pasta spirals.
Rotini with Cauliflower-Blue Cheese Sauce
- 10 ounces rotini
- 4 cups cauliflower florets, 1 medium head or one 16-ounce bag frozen
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the rotini.
- Place 1/2 cup of water in another pot fitted with a steamer rack. Bring to a boil, add the cauliflower florets, cover and steam until they are very tender when pierced with a knife.
- Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl and add the butter along with salt and pepper to taste. Purée with an electric hand blender until smooth and silky (you can also use a food processor or blender). Set aside.
- Cook and drain the pasta according to package directions. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the red onion and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes more (do not brown).
- Add the cauliflower to the pan and combine well. Stir in 1/3 cup of the milk until blended, add the cheese and continue heating until the cheese melts and the mixture is smooth. Add more milk as needed to bring the mixture to the consistency of thick sauce. Check the seasoning, stir in the parsley, then combine with the rotini. Serve immediately.