Vegan Garlic Pasta with Roasted Cajun Cauliflower. Cauliflower is tossed in homemade Cajun spice blend and baked, then served over easy creamy Garlic sauce Penne Pasta. Vegan Garlic Pasta Recipe. Can be Nut-free gluten-free.
This Easy Pasta comes together quickly and makes an amazing meal. Toss the Cauliflower in Cajun spice blend and put it in the oven to bake. Boil the pasta, simmer the sauce to thicken and fold in the pasta. Put it all together, garnish with parsley or basil. Perfect!
This dish came about when I remembered some friends had recommended a dish with Cajun chikin over Creamy pasta (way back when). It was a popular dish at a neighboring restaurant. For a vegan version of that dish, I made this creamy garlicky pasta sauce with roasted and minced garlic, which makes a great pasta by itself or can be used as a garlic mac and cheese sauce. The Cajun spice blend is magic. Rub it all over the cauliflower, bake and try not to eat the entire helping.
The baked Cajun Cauliflower is amazing! Make just that and serve it with a cooling dip as a starter or appetizer. The garlic sauce is easy and cheesy. Add elbows to it and make into a mac bake, covered with breadcrumbs mixed with smoked paprika or some of the cajun blend. So much Flavor!
1 small head of cauliflower cut into florets 3 heaping cups
2 teaspoons oil
2 tsp paprika (I use 1 tsp sweet mild paprika and 1 tsp smoked hot paprika)
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) or more cayenne
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) red pepper flakes or use more smoked paprika
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) onion powder
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) salt ( 1/4 to 1/2 tsp to preference)
Garlic Sauce Pasta:
8 oz penne glutenfree if needed
2 tsp olive oil divided
3 cloves garlic minced
2 cups (473.18 ml) unsweetened non dairy milk such as almond milk or soymilk or use cashew milk for creamier
1 tbsp flour or use rice flour to make gluten-free
1 tbsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch
10 cloves of roasted garlic
1/2 tsp (0.5 tsp) to 1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) or more dried thyme ,+ generous dashes of other herbs such as basil, sage, oregano
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 to 3/4 tsp (0.5 tsp) or more salt
chopped basil or parsley for garnish
black pepper or cayenne and lemon juice for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Add the Cauliflower florets to a large bowl. Drizzle oil and mix using a spatula or rub it in using hands.
In a small bowl, mix the ingredients under cajun spice blend. Add a bit more paprika if using mild. Sprinkle all over the cauliflower florets and toss to coat. (use 1.5 tbsp or more of premade cajun blend).
Bake for 25 to 30 mins.
Make the pasta according to instructions on the package, drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add minced garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile blend the rest of the ingredients (except garnish) until smooth. Add to the pan. Increase heat to medium.
Bring the sauce to a boil stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust salt and flavor carefully. Simmer for another 2 minutes. You can add in some cajun blend to the sauce as well for additional flavor. Fold in the pasta. Take off heat, cover and let sit for 2 minutes.
To serve, add warm baked Cajun Cauliflower on top. Garnish with chopped parsley or basil, some cayenne/pepper and lemon juice.
Variation: Mix 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs to the cajun spice blend for crispier baked cauliflower.Use other hearty vegetables. Make a double or triple of the Cajun spice blend and use as much or as less depending on the amount of vegetables and your preference.
For Saucier pasta, double the sauce or make 1.5 times with 3 cups non dairy milk.
For more flavor in cream sauce: Add more herbs, Add 1 tsp miso. See tips above.
Oil-free: Water saute the garlic for the pasta sauce and continue. Use aquafaba or flax egg for the cauliflower. Lightly dab aquafaba all over the florets, then toss florets in the spice blend.