A friend of mine asked me if I liked the “Alfredo” sauce (aka butter + heavy cream + cheese + garlic sauce) and I replied with a smile that I never tried or made it, even if I’m Italian and even if I’ve been living in the States for more than 10 years (wow, time really flies away!!). Nevertheless I told her that I could prepare for our families a creamy white decadent pasta sauce with veggies as good as the Alfredo pasta she had in mind 🙂
I love challenges and I love transforming a traditional “heavy” recipe into a “light” and healthy one. That’s how my broccoli and cashew cream pasta was born: inspired by the Alfredo sauce pasta!!!
Now. I tried different versions for the kids and the one I’m posting is the one they liked the most, but there is also another version with broccoli incorporated in the cashew sauce that was not bad at all and that I would recommend if you have a picky eater that really doesn’t like the shape or texture of the broccoli (my kids are on the picky side but the only veggie that they like without complains are broccoli, so I left them in plain sight).
This pasta is a super toddler idea as it’s a very complete meal (proteins, veggies, carbs all in one fork bite!!). If you chose a small pasta shape or if you simply cut the pasta in tiny pieces, you can serve it starting from 10/12 months.
I started simply soaking the cashews in some water. It usually takes 2 hours, but I like soaking them overnight, I think they get creamier. Drain and rinse.
In a food processor add the cashews altogether with the coconut milk, 1 clove of garlic, a pinch of salt and 70ml of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a good quality. Blend one or two minutes up until smooth.
In a pan add 2 Tbsp Olive Oil and 3 cloves of garlic, previously minced. Cook for 1 minute at medium heat and than add the broccoli florets chopped in small pieces and the turmeric. Sauté for 8/10 min up until tender. Set apart.
Cook the pasta in abundant salted boiling water (I usually add one Tablespoon of sea salt). Save 1 cup of boiling water to thin the sauce if necessary.
Dress the pasta with the cashew sauce and the broccoli. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
As mentioned above, if your kid doesn’t like the full texture of broccoli you can simply cooked them as described and blend them together with the cashew. You will get a creamy pale green sauce that will nicely dress the pasta 🙂
- 150 gr. cashews
- 125 ml. coconut milk
- 4 cloves garlic
- 350 gr. broccoli florets
- 1 pinch salt
- 70 ml. olive oil extra virgin
- 2 Tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 500 gr. bowtie pasta
- 1 handful grated Parmesan cheese
Soak cashews in water for few hours, drain and rinse.
In a food processor add the cashews + coconut milk + 1 clove garlic + pinch of salt + 70ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Blend up until smooth.
In a pan add 2 Tbsp Olive Oil + 3 cloves garlic, minced. Cook for 1 minute at medium heat. Add the broccoli florets and the turmeric. Sauté for 8/10 min up until tender.
Cook the pasta in abundant boiling water with one Tablespoon of sea salt. Save 1 cup of boiling water to thin the sauce if necessary.
Dress the pasta with the cashew sauce and the broccoli. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!