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Giada De Laurentiis' Cauliflower Alfredo Is So Creamy You'd Never Guess It's Packed With Veggies

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We’re always trying to fit more veggies into our diet, from adding grated zucchini to savory Parmesan quick bread to swapping spaghetti for spaghetti squash. But Giada De Laurentiis has a trick that lets you have your veggies and your pasta too. She created a cauliflower alfredo recipe with a sauce so creamy, you’d swear it was made with some sort of heavy cream. But no, that’s just the power of cauliflower when done right!


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There are a lot of people who freak out when you try to put a twist on a traditional Italian recipe, but De Laurentiis has literally written the book on Italian cooking (Giada’s Italy: My Recipe for LA Dolce Vita), so you can trust her. The sauce is so easy to make. You need to simply boil and blend a head of chopped cauliflower with butter and seasonings, then toss it with cooked pasta, grated Parmesan cheese, and pasta water. Tossing everything together vigorously, you wind up with a silky, flavorful sauce that coats each bite of al dente pasta.

Clarkson Potter.

De Laurentiis uses Setaro Strozzapreti pasta, the name of which translates to…priest stranglers. Awkward! Bizarre name aside, each piece of this pasta is about ziti length, with two sides folded into the center, creating lots of area to soak up the creamy cauliflower sauce in De Laurentiis’ recipe. But really, you can use your favorite pasta shape with the sauce, though we do recommend bronze die cut pasta, which has a better texture.


This simple creamy cauliflower alfredo recipe can be eaten as is, but it’s also a delicious paired with even more veggies. We love adding anything green to a creamy sauce, even one made with cauliflower — think spinach, roasted or steamed broccoli, sweet green peas, or kale.

But most importantly, don’t forget to top each serving with even more Parmesan.

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  • Posted on August 16, 2023