Sunday, July 25, 2010

American Highway Cauliflower (Pasta with turkey & peppers in cauliflower sauce)

(Well, it's as close as I could come. "Ask the Dust" is nowhere to be found...)

Since I may have managed to properly queasify most of the members of the audience who don’t much care for the dismemberment of furry woodland creatures, here’s something that’s a little less farm-to-table, although I guess it wouldn’t have to be for the most part.

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables I had to develop a taste for – but now that I have, I use it (as you’ve seen) in all sorts of ways. Instead of a heavy cream sauce for pasta, using steamed cauliflower as a base makes for a much healthier sauce. This savory bit of yumminess is very quick and healthy. If you’re a WeightWatchers person, as I once was – it’s about 5 points for a serving. (Thanks, Rachel.)  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • head o' cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6-8 cups)
  • 1 onion (preferably Vidalia or something sweet) cut into thin wedges
  • 6 oz. roasted turkey from the deli, sliced thin
  • a bunch of dried tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced into 2 (or so) inch pieces
  • chives
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped
  • thyme (2 tsp. ground or a heaping teaspoon of leaves, fresh)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 c. skim milk
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb. pasta -- penne works well.

Steam the cauliflower until tender. (18-20 minutes in a steamer) Add to blender.


In a skillet over medium-low heat, add some olive oil and the onion. Cook until caramelized and tender -- 10-12 min. Add to blender.


Return pan (do not wipe out) to stove. Increase heat to medium. Add turkey and tomatoes. Saute until turkey begins to brown -- about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add peppers, stir to mix, cover and keep warm.


Start pot of salted water boiling for pasta. After you add the pasta to the water, add milk, broth, lemon juice, and herbs to the blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into saucepan over medium-low heat. Add parmesan cheese. Stir and cover.


When pasta is finished, drain, return to pot, and add cauliflower sauce and turkey mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Plate it up. Garnish with a few chives.


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