Lightened-Up Fettuccine with Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce

Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

On those nights you want to eat kinda healthy (but also don’t want to eat your millionth salad of the week), fettuccine with cauliflower alfredo sauce comes to the rescue. It’s a lighter, leaner version of our favorite indulgence. Instead of heavy cream, the luscious sauce starts with pureed cauliflower (with just an itty bit of milk and Parm mixed in). This totally counts as eating our veggies, right?

Cacio e Pepe Cauliflower


1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 5 cups florets)

½ cup milk

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 garlic cloves, minced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound fettuccine or other long pasta


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook until very tender, 9 to 10 minutes.

2. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cauliflower from the water and transfer to the bowl of a blender. Reserve the water at a simmer.

3. Puree the cauliflower until relatively smooth. Add the milk and Parmesan cheese and blend until completely smooth.

4. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

5. Add the cauliflower sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer; season with salt and pepper. Reserve over low heat.

6. Bring the pot of water back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook according to package’s instructions until al dente; drain.

7. Add the pasta to the pan and toss well to coat in sauce. Serve immediately topped with more cheese.