Okay, so much like the cheese-less mac and cheese that, if not marketed as mac and "cheese" turns out to be pretty damn good, this creamy pasta also gets its cream element from plants. Specifically, a cauliflower.
Which, if you want me to be perfectly honest, I think can definitely come off as pretty damn naturally creamy. Just try this soup if you don't believe me.
For this recipe, you'll need:
1 pound cappellini (or whatever pasta shape you're into)
2 cups kale, finely chopped (or whatever greens you're into)
Salt & pepper
1/2 cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 cup almond-coconut milk, unsweetened
2-3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon miso paste
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Scallion, thinly sliced
Start by getting your pasta going, though you can time this based on the shape you choose. You don't want to have it ready too soon, then you'll just be stuck with, well, stuck together pasta and no sauce in the world, cauliflower-y and cream-less, can help you there.
In a separate pot, get some water boiling. Once it's rolling, add some salt and your cauliflower. Reduce the heat and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and toss into a high-power blender.
Add your almond-coconut milk (or you could go straight coconut if you're really looking to amp up the creaminess), garlic, lemon juice (for a little bit of bite), olive oil, miso, pepper and a little more salt. Blend it up and give it a taste. Good? Yeah, I thought so. But, if you feel like it's lacking a little something, add a little more miso-lemon-milk-salt or whatever it is you think it needs the most.
Right about now, if you timed it right (and you did, didn't you?), your pasta should be ready to go. Pour the cauliflower sauce and the kale (uncooked) onto your pasta and toss to coat evenly. Top with scallions and a little bit of fresh parsley for a yeah-I-made-this-it's-no-big-deal effect. Parsley seems to do that to a homemade dish. And it also tastes great.
So for a "creamy" (yeah, the air quotes are necessary) pasta without the cream and without a whole lot of prep work (think weeknight dinner, for sure), give this a try. You might be surprised! You might also add a little Parmesan on top. But hey, there's no cheese-judgement here.