Leek, Lemon and Cauliflower Fettuccine

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I’m a big fan of cooking cauliflower until it’s almost creamy … especially in pasta dishes like this one. It becomes part of the sauce, adding heft and health to just a handful of fettuccine.


1 cup thinly sliced leeks (tender white parts only)
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
12 ounces fettuccine (preferably whole grain)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 lemon (Meyer lemon is great), zested and juiced
1/4 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
Flake sea salt
1/4 cup snipped chives

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Pour 1/4 cup water into a large skillet over medium heat, and add leeks and cauliflower. Cover and cook for 4 minutes, until cauliflower is just becoming tender. Start cooking pasta. Drizzle olive oil into the pan with the cauliflower and toss with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until cauliflower and leek start to color a bit and cauliflower becomes fork tender, about 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup water. Pour the pasta water into the pan with the cauliflower and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and swirl in the butter, lemon zest and juice. Pour pasta back into the pot and scrape cauliflower mixture over it. Mix very well using tongs and a stiff spatula. Add cheese and toss again.

Divide the pasta mixture among four plates and top with flake sea salt, chives and additional cheese if desired.

Serves 4

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  • Runyan5236

    I have just come upon your blog and weekly email.  I was so excited when I read this recipe!  I am just beginning to learn my way around the kitchen and grocery.  I am trying to learn how to cook and feed my family fresh and healthy food.  I admit we lived on a lot of packaged and frozen fare for the past few year, and it’s overwhelming to go from that to trying to find exotic food that’s only available in healthfood stores.  This recipe was refreshingly simple and uncompicated for someone that is a little awkward still in the kitchen.  LOVE IT!

    • liahuber

      Wonderful! Good for you. Enjoy this one … And you’ll find other simple ones as well that are great to have in your inventory. Glad you found us!

  • Mom2Five

    Made this the other night. My family really liked it. They did have a bit of adjustment, as it is not the traditional pasta dish. I would suggest mashing the cauliflower slightly to smooth the sauce a bit (and make it a little less recognizable to the more selective eaters).

    • liahuber

      Great suggestion to mash. It gets more creamy that way too. Glad your family liked it so much!

  • http://beautifulmaze.com/ Kendra

    This sounds amazing! Will have to give it a try.

    • liahuber

      I think you’ll really like it, Kendra :-).