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Cauliflower Carbonara

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

As mentioned in Day 23 of The Challenge

The concept of using cauliflower in such a way is one I was introduced to relatively recently. It is low in calories, but smooth and decadent tasting. The trick is to balance the flavours effectively: not too much garlic, enough acidity to bring out the cauliflower. Miso paste works well in this, as does balsamic vinegar. In this case I used lemon juice, and skipped the miso as I thought the spinach and bacon would give the dish the deeper notes otherwise provided by the miso.


Half a head of Cauliflower hut into florets

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

1/2 c milk

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 handfuls of spinach

1 cup of mushrooms, sliced

4 rashers of thick cut bacon, cut into pieces

Spaghetti for 2

Pepper and parmesan to taste

1) Steam the cauliflower florets for 5 minutes or until tender, then blend with the garlic, milk and lemon juice until silky smooth. If using miso, add it now, or feel free to swap out the lemon juice for another acid. This step can be done in advance and added to the other ingredients later.

2) Cook your spaghetti as per instructions, reserving a little pasta water when you drain it.

3)In a pan, cook your bacon until it has rendered its fat and it turning crispy. Set it aside on a kitchen towel to dry.

4) In the same pan, fry your mushrooms, then just wilt your spinach.

5) Toss all ingredients together in the pasta pot or in a bowl. If the sauce is too thick, add some lemon juice or the pasta water, depending on your taste test determinations. Pepper and cheese to taste.

The sauce to this can be paired with a number of alternatives to the bacon. We have done it successfully with asparagus, for example. I plan on trying it with pumpkin. It was a surprise how rich and decadent this tastes, and while I still very much enjoy a classic carbonara with all the cream and eggs, this is a very worthy alternative.


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