This delicious Creamy Broccoli-Cauliflower-Tomato Sauce recipe is inspired by a dish I grew up with so a shout out to my wonderful parents 😊. I recall my parents would serve this on Sunday evenings when they had more prep time (it required a lot of floret chopping before the days of a Vitamix or Thermomix being a household name, lol) and I always looked forward to this dish after a long stretch of homework. When I told my mom I wanted to “veganize” this dish for a Vegan Rhapsody post she actually sent me a picture of the original recipe she cut out from Starweek Magazine, a decades-old popular entertainment magazine that used to be delivered as part of the Saturday Star (see pic below). I couldn’t believe she still had it after all these years (after all it’s probably going back to 1991 or so)…my mom is the best!
The original recipe is very dairy heavy (you’ll note it calls for heavy (35%) whipping cream and grated parmesan cheese) and integral to achieving a rich, smooth sauce, but knowing this only challenged me a little more to see how I could recreate that ‘just-like-I-remember’ flavour using plant-based ingredients😉. I started off by making a batch of my go-to savoury parmesan cheese and then a batch of my favourite vegan heavy cream from chef Makini Howell’s cookbook Plum (as a side note her restaurant Plum Bistro in Seattle, OR is amazing if you haven’t been there). The longest step in making this dish is steaming the cauliflower and broccoli which you could always do in advance to save time….other than that all you need to do is mince the steamed cauliflower and broccoli florets, sauté with garlic, and then cook with fire-roasted tomatoes, heavy cream and parmesan. The end result is a savoury tomato sauce that’s so delicious you’ll forget it’s a meatless dish, let alone that it’s a non-dairy dish. Both kids and Janik, who tried this for the first time, loved it and it certainly took me back to those fond memories of Sunday evening dinner with my family.
As always I’d love to hear your feedback if you have the opportunity to try this dish for yourself!
- 1/Cook pasta until al dente (1 lb/454g is recommended for this recipe)
- 2/Prepare one batch of Vegan Heavy Cream (see Recipe Notes below)
- 2 cups water (435g) for steaming
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets (heavy stems removed)
- 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets (heavy stems removed)
- 3 garlic cloves (25 g)
- 1/8 cup + 1 Tbsp olive oil (40g)
- 1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes (796 ml can/ 785g)
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1 cup vegan heavy cream (210g) (see Recipe Notes below)
- 1 cup grated vegan parmesan cheese (90g) + balance reserved for garnish
- 1/Steam your vegetables: Add 2 cups of water to your Thermomix mixing bowl. Add cauliflower and broccoli florets to the Varoma, fit Varoma on top of mixing bowl and place lid to ensure no steam escapes. Using the Varoma setting, steam for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Once steamed, rinse under cold water. Set aside.
- 2/Add garlic to the TM bowl. Chop 5 sec/Speed 7. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl to collect the minced garlic at the base of the bowl.
- 3/Add reserved (steamed) cauliflower and broccoli florets (800-900g total) to the TM bowl. Chop 7 sec/Speed 4. You want the florets chopped into small pieces (vs. a mushy texture)
- 4/Add olive oil to the TM bowl. Sauté garlic, cauliflower and broccoli for 3 min/120C/Speed 1.
- 5/Add roasted tomatoes and salt into the TM bowl. Simmer for 5 min/90C/Speed 1. Note: Place the simmering basket on the lid of the Thermomix mixing bowl to vent while the sauce is cooking down.
- 6/Add heavy cream and grated parmesan cheese to the TM bowl. Simmer for 5 min/100C/Speed 1 (Reverse blade). Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as necessary. Your sauce is now ready!
- 7/Pour the prepared sauce over plated pasta. Top with reserved parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Vegan Heavy Cream Ingredients
- 1 cup soy milk, unsweetened
- 2 cups canola oil (Don’t substitute with any other type of oil!)
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Vegan Heavy Cream Instructions
Important: Insert the butterfly whisk attachment to your Thermomix mixing blade before starting this recipe.
- 1/Pour milk into the Thermomix mixing bowl. With the blade set to Speed 2 slowly add in the oil until it’s blended with the milk (this should take about 3 – 3.5 minutes).
- 2/With the blade still running at Speed 2, let the mixture blend for another minute. The timer should reach the 4 – 5 minute mark upon completion of this step.
- 3/Add the apple cider vinegar to the mixing bowl through the opening in the lid. Blend 30 sec/Speed 3.5. The mixture should have a thick, creamy consistency.
Note: This recipe will yield 2 cups of cream. Any leftover cream can be kept for up to five days in the refrigerator.
Note: This recipe was made using a Thermomix appliance, however it can easily be adapted using similar food prep tools (e.g. mutli-function processor, immersion blender etc) or using a more traditional stovetop method.