Creamy Garlic Pasta with Cajun Cauliflower

Creamy Garlic Pasta with Cajun Cauliflower plantbased pantry

It’s not exactly pasta season here in Cape Town, with temperatures averaging in the high 20s and an unusual amount of clamminess in the air – we are all sweaty Bettys down here and pasta isn’t really going to help our situation. But you can’t eat salads EVERY day. Sometimes you just want a hearty bowl of appetizing carbs.

Please excuse the super average photo, I promise it tastes a million times better than it looks. In my defense, I was too busy drooling and picking from the bowl to pay much attention to the photography – a sign of winning dish.

Creamy Garlic Pasta With Cajun Cauliflower

Cajun cauliflower:

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Garlic pasta:

  • Penne cooked per packet instructions
  • Half a punnet mushrooms, sauteed in garlic and white wine
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups plant milk (I used half soya and half coconut)
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 10 cloves of roasted garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp each of dried thyme, dried basil, dried sage, dried oregano
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Chopped fresh basil or parsley
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca flour for thickening (if necessary)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place cauli florets in a large bowl and drizzle with oil, rubbing the oil in with your hands.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix all other Cajun ingredients together. Add extra chilli if desired. Sprinkle Cajun blend over cauli florets and toss to coat.
  3. Take your garlic bulb and peel and discard the papery outer layers, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Do not split the cloves.  Cut a 1/2 inch from the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves from beneath the skin. Brush the whole bulb with olive oil and wrap in tin foil.
  4. Bake Cajun cauliflower and garlic bulb for 25 to 30 mins – cauli should be crispy and garlic should be soft and easy to squeeze out the skins.
  5. Cook pasta according to instructions on the package, drain and set aside.
  6. Saute mushrooms in garlic and white wine until soft then set aside.
  7. Blend plant milk, roasted garlic, flour, paprika, herbs, salt and nutritional yeast into a smooth sauce.
  8. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium low heat and add sauce. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. If the sauce is too thin, add cornstarch or tapioca, first mixing into a paste with cold water. Adjust to taste.
  9. To serve, combine pasta, mushrooms and sauce and sprinkle Cajun cauliflower on top. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.

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