Both kids and grown ups will go bonkers for this FUN (and sneakily healthy) version of Pumpkin Cauliflower Alfredo. Appropriately named The Smashed Spider, this pasta is all about healthy veggies and power packed super foods.
Hey guys! Can you believe it’s already October? I can…not. But alas, thanks to my sweet child who will be having his birthday celebration at the end of this month, I am reminded daily.
Although I hate seeing the days grow shorter and shorter I really love the month of October. The weather is still warm, the rain hasn’t come and the time change hasn’t kicked in. Plus, it’s Halloween month. And this year it’s even more exciting thanks to a boat load of other exciting stuff. But I’ll save you from the list and just share them as they come instead.
Anywho, with Halloween approaching, I wanted to make at least one healthy(ish) Halloween themed meal that wasn’t centered around candy or alcohol. Yes, I know, those are some of my favorites, too, but…the kids.
I picked up some Black Rice Pasta Noodles a while ago and never knew what I would make with them. Until now. These superfood, gluten-free noodles are perfect for Halloween. Now, I could have made a red sauce with eye-balls or something like that, but I thought, Wait. It’s Halloween and fall and that means pumpkins.
It had to be a pumpkin sauce. Then I went to the market and saw the orange cauliflower with the orange carrots and I thought, duh.
So, a little info about this dish. It’s packed full of vegetables. But, let’s be honest here- my kid won’t eat pureed vegetables on top of noodles; I mean, he will see right through me. And, if I’m being really honest, I wouldn’t want to eat these pureed veggies on top of noodles either. I mean, I would, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.
So, I had to add some butter, cream and cheese.
It won’t kill us guys. We’ll be ok.
Just add as much or as little as you want. Seriously, add 1 cup or 3 cups of cream. It’s totally up to you (I added 1 cup of half and half).
ps- I hope you’re not tired of my stop motion videos yet because I love them so much.
Other Halloween/Pumpkin recipes you may enjoy-
Candy Corn Inspired Carrot and Orange Juice Gin Cocktail (150 Calories)
Cheesy Pumpkin Quesadilla with Sausage and Maple Pumpkin Yogurt Sauce
Pumpkin Pie Yogurt Overnight Oats
Halloween Monster Mash Party Mix
Spooky Red Wine Hot Chocolate
Creamy Pumpkin Cauliflower Alfredo (aka the smashed spider)
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 6-8 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced
3 large carrots, chopped
1 head cauliflower (orange if you can find it), chopped into large florets
salt + pepper, to taste
1/2 cup – 1 cup vegetable broth
1 can pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup half and half or cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt + pepper, to taste
1 cup fresh or frozen peas, thawed and cooked
Black Rice Pasta Noodles (gluten-free) or Squid Ink Pasta, cooked according to package instructions*
Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until lightly caramelized. Stir frequently**
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add the chopped carrots and cook for approximately 5-7 minutes. Once the carrots just start to soften, add the cauliflower florets and continue to boil until fork tender. Drain.
In a large high-powered blender or food processor (I couldn’t live without my Vitamix 780 or food processor), add the caramelized onions, boiled carrots and cauliflower, pumpkin puree, salt and pepper and vegetable broth. Puree until completely smooth.
Transfer the pureed vegetables to a medium to large sauce pot with the two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Slowly stir in the half and half or cream and heat until warm, stirring constantly to prevent the cream from burning. If sauce is too thick add additional cream or vegetable broth, 1/4 up at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Reduce heat to low and stir in the grated Parmesan with salt and pepper, to taste.
Options- if you are feeding a large group immediately (see note below), you can stir the noodles in with the sauce directly and top with peas. Otherwise, I suggest serving individual bowls of noodles with sauce.
Garnish with additional cream or peas, if desired.
*Depending on which noodles you decide to use, keep in mind that the Black Rice Pasta Noodles continue to absorb water even after they are done cooking. Translation- these noodles are best slightly undercooked and enjoyed immediately!
**The onions do not have to be caramelized. However, I feel that it adds nice flavor. If you are short on time, you can skip the onion all together or simply saute until soft.