Vegan

Vegan Cauliflower Alfredo Bake

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Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces penne pasta (you can use a gluten free penne, such as brown rice penne or quinoa penne, if desired)
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small pieces and florets (about 7 to 8 cups, total)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 3 small cloves garlic, minced or sliced
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond, soy, or rice milk
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh green peas, blanched for 1 minute to soften (or frozen and thawed green peas)
  • 1/2 cup vegan breadcrumbs (or vegan and gluten free breadcrumbs, such as Mary’s Gone Crackers Just Crumbs)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375° F. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the penne and cook, stirring every now and then, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until it’s cooked through but still a little more al dente than you’d want if you were to eat it right away (you may need to adjust cooking time if you use a non-wheat pasta, so check package for cooking instructions and modify your cooking time accordingly). Drain pasta, reserving a few tablespoons of cooking water. Toss the pasta with the cooking water to help prevent sticking and set it aside.
  2. Bring another pot of water to boil. Boil the cauliflower for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until it’s tender. Drain. Place half of the florets into your blender, reserving the other half.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium-low heat. Cook the garlic, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes, or until it’s fragrant and cooked through, but not burning. Blend half of the cauliflower florets with the garlic, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. The sauce should be very smooth, so add extra milk or a drizzle of olive oil if needed to achieve a smooth texture.
  4. Lightly oil a 9-x-13-inch baking dish. Toss the pasta, the remaining cauliflower florets, the peas, and all of the sauce together. Taste the mixture and add a dash of salt or pepper if desired. Transfer all ingredients to the baking dish. Top with the breadcrumbs. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crumbs are toasted and the pasta is bubbly. Serve.

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