Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by American Family Insurance. All opinions are my own.
This week is the third in a series of events that has Sunday Supper joining up with American Family Insurance to gather around the #FamilyDinnerTable. This time around, we are getting a little cheesy with savory recipes featuring The Bug’s favorite ingredient – CHEESE. I made a lighter, autumn-y version of the Italian classic that features what some call the King of Cheeses – Parmigiano-Reggiano – with my Fettuccine Pumpkin Cauli-Fredo.
I love cheese, but I don’t think I love it nearly as much as The Bug. He will finish his yogurt in the morning, tell me he is still hungry, and when I ask what he is hungry for, more often than not he will say excitedly, “A cheese stick!”
Sometimes when I pick him up from preschool I’ll tell him that we have to go to the grocery store, and the first words out of his mouth are, “So I can get some ‘lellow’ cheese?” And he isn’t talking about buying cheese to bring home. He seems to think that a required part of a trip to the grocery store is a stop at the deli counter for them to give him a slice or two of cheese to eat right now. And when I say “right now”, I mean he polishes it off within fifteen seconds.
The kid deconstructs sandwiches to eat the cheese first, and basically scrapes parmesan off the top of his pasta. So obviously this is a frequently used ingredient in our house.
And the cheese I chose to feature in my recipe – parm, parmesan, parmigiano, parmigiano-reggiano. Call it what you want, but my recommendation here – don’t buy the stuff in the canister. My biggest tip for cooking with parmesan is to buy good quality parmesan. I usually pick up one wedge and bring it to the deli counter to have them grate for me, and then I’ll keep another one in my freezer for when I want it freshly grated, or want some shavings or curls. It may cost a little more, but the flavor is so much more intense that you can use less – saving you money and calories. I’ll grate some onto almost any veggie when I am roasting it in the oven, then let it get brown and toasty to add a huge pop of flavor.
And that flavor truly comes through in this Fettuccine Pumpkin Cauli-Fredo. Through my perusing of various blogs, I’d come across recipes for a pumpkin alfredo and a cauliflower cream sauce, so I thought I could combine the two. Totally worked! I did not want to stop eating it. The Bug polished off two plates-full, and brought leftovers for lunch. I may or may not have licked the plate clean from the next day’s photo shoot… at 3:30 in the afternoon.
The cauliflower puree with the addition of the salty and pungent parmesan gave the creaminess, and the pumpkin, along with a bit of sage, brought in a lovely seasonal flavor. Nutmeg is commonly used to enhance the flavor of cream sauces, but to also accent the pumpkin I used pumpkin pie spice. Then I tossed in some peas, mainly for color, so feel free to leave them out if you aren’t a fan. The balance of flavors was just right, and while it was rich and creamy without being heavy, like your typical alfredo sauce.
Oh my gosh, I think I may pretend that the bit of sauce left in the fridge is soup, and just eat it with a spoon!
American Family Insurance has started the #FamilyDinnerTable campaign to share their the belief that the next generation of dreamers starts at the family dinner table. Follow along as we join with American Family Insurance to share family recipes and stories through Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter, and be sure to follow the AmFam Back to the Family Dinner Table board for meal and recipe inspiration.
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST, and this week we are sharing big Sunday Suppers that make lots of leftover for your Weeknight Suppers, as well as tips to encourage families to rediscover the power of family meals. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.
And make sure you check out all of the amazing cheesy #SundaySupper recipes at the bottom of this post.
What is your favorite cheesy dish?
Fettuccine Pumpkin Cauli-Fredo
A rich cauliflower cream paired with autumn flavors of pumpkin & sage combine for the most amazing lighter version of the classic fettuccine alfredo.
- 4 c cauliflower florets
- 4 c vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 T olive oil
- 1/2 medium sweet onion (about 1/2 c)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 t dried sage
- 1 c canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 c grated parmesan cheese
- 1 c milk
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t pepper
- 1/4 t pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 c peas, optional
- 1 lb fettuccine pasta (regular, whole wheat or gluten free), cooked slightly al dente
- Additional parmesan cheese, for serving
- Combine the cauliflower and broth in a saucepan, cover, bring to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes, until very tender. Set aside, reserving the cooking liquid.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat, add the onion, and cook for 5-7 minutes, until soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and sage to the onion, cook for another minute or two, until fragrant, and set aside.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower and 1 cup of the coking liquid to a food processor or blender.
- Add the onion mixture, pumpkin, parmesan cheese, milk, salt, pepper, and pumpkin pie spice, and puree until smooth.
- Return the puree to the pot over medium low heat, ad the peas, and heat until warmed, adding additional salt and pepper, if needed.
- Toss the pasta with the sauce, and serve with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.
Need some more cheese?
- Cheesy Zucchini Hodge Podge
- BBQ Shrimp, Broccoli & Cheesy Quinoa Bowls
- Eggplant Parmagiana Pasta Casserole
Plus check out all of these amazing Cheesy #SundaySupper recipes to get your gang Back to the #FamilyDinnerTable:
- Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Soup by Chocolate Moosey
- Fettuccine Pumpkin Cauli-fredo by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Cheeseburger Chowder by Magnolia Days
- Three Cheese Lasagna with Meat Sauce by Webicurean
- Japanese Grilled Cheese & Kale Salad by NinjaBaking.com
- Cheesy Ham and Potato Bake by Country Girl in the Village
- Spinach Feta Greek Impossible Pie by Shockingly Delicious
- Cheesy Vegetarian Enchilada Soup by Curious Cuisiniere
- Steakhouse Bacon Alfredo Pasta by Juanita’s Cocina
- 3 Cheese Pumpkin Mac and Cheese by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Cheddar Popcorn Soup by MarocMama
- Broccoli, Mushroom & Cheese Strata by Momma’s Meals
- Chili Relleno Casserole by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- French Onion and Apple Soup by Supper for a Steal
- Cheesy Italian Sausage & Kale Quiche by girlichef
- Lighter Stove-top Mac and Cheese by Alida’s Kitchen
- Cheddar Potato Dumpling Soup by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Prosciutto, Chevre & Radish Toasted Sandwich by Foxes Love Lemons
- Cheesesteak Poutine by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Roasted Tomatoes and Broccoli Rabe Flatbread Pizza by Family Foodie
- Cheesesteak Poutine by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Broccoli Rabe Cheddar Cheese Flatbread by Family Foodie