There is nothing remotely Austrian about fettuccine alfredo. Come to think of it, I’m not sure if there is anything truly Italian about fettuccine alfredo either – but Americans certainly enjoy it! and it is featured in many Italian-American restaurants. Typically the dish consists of pasta that has been tossed in cheese, butter, and cream – a lactose-intolerant nightmare…but not anymore! I made my own much healthier and lactose-free version of fettuccine alfredo using cauliflower as the creamy, delicious base and the results were shocking.
First I cleaned and chopped the cauliflower and boiled it in approximately 2 cups of bouillon. The longer you boil it the more tender it will become but 20 minutes does the trick. I then pureed the soft cauliflower along with most of the remaining liquid in the pot until it was velvety and smooth which took about 5 minutes of consistent buzzing. While the cauliflower was tenderizing I boiled water for my pasta and got it cooking. At the same time I sauteed some finely minced garlic to add a little more punch to the sauce. Into the same pan where I softened the garlic I added the cauliflower puree and allowed it to warm up. At this stage you could either add a few tablespoons of cream to thicken the sauce and add a richness to the taste and texture or you could go the lactose-free route and add a tablespoon of olive oil to a similar effect. I chose the latter route and was blown away by the depth of flavor and the consistency of the sauce. The final stage is tossing in the pasta and then devouring every last bite!
While you do use a number of different pots and pans to cook this one up, I would still characterize it as a simple recipe – the trick is really in the timing so that everything stays warm because once the sauce begins to congeal it becomes less appetizing even though it remains wonderfully delicious. One clear disadvantage is that your home will smell like cauliflower and garlic for days – at least mine did – but this is a small price to pay for a delicious, fresh-made, and healthy version of an otherwise deadly dish. I have lovingly named it Cauliflower What? because it is simply so hard to believe that cauliflower plays such a pivotal role in creating these rich flavors! I have no idea what possessed me to try this recipe out but I’m certainly glad that I did. Cauliflower What? is now one of my staple dishes – now I just need to work on ventilation.