I’m not going to lie, half the fun of this sauce is making a purple pasta dish! Now, I did punch up the color slightly for the photo and added some beetroot powder as mentioned below, but in person it still came out to a lovely shade of purple, almost more towards lavender. I think it will depend on how vibrant the cauliflower is.
Just warning you upfront: This recipe will yield extra sauce that you can store and re-use for more freshly-cooked pasta the next few days. You could also eat the sauce as a soup or use it over warm potatoes. If you want to use all of the sauce at once, cut the recipe in half or make double the amount of pasta. I do the recipe this way because then I can use the entire cauliflower head at once, plus it’s hard to mix up less than this amount in my blender.
- 1 head purple cauliflower (about 1 lb. chopped)*
- 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth**
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 2 heaping tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/8 tsp. beetroot powder***
- 1 8 oz. box of pasta (I use Banza chickpea pasta)
- Heat vegetable broth in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add cauliflower and cashews. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes on medium-low heat, or until the cauliflower is tender. Add more vegetable broth if needed.
- Once cauliflower is tender, move the contents to a blender and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside, reserving about 1 cup of pasta water for later to use for thinning the pasta sauce.
- Puree the cauliflower and cashew mix in the blender. Add garlic, lemon, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. The sauce will likely be a shade of lavender, depending on the cauliflower you use. To punch up the color, I like to add the beetroot powder, or you could even add a small piece of an actual cooked beetroot.
- To finish, simply toss your pasta with the pureed sauce. I used about half of the sauce for my one 8 oz. box of pasta and put the rest of the sauce in the fridge to use in the next couple of days (which made preparing dinner so fast!).
- I like to top my pasta with freshly-ground black pepper and some greens. In the photo I added some arugula.
*You can substitute regular white cauliflower or any other yellow or green variety.
**You could also use unsweetened plant-based milk, which might lead to a more purple pasta, but veggie broth provides better flavor.
*** Beetroot powder is optional for added color, or if you have purple corn powder or purple sweet potato powder, those would be even better for enhancing the color.