Chickpea Pasta & Steamed Cauliflower with Vegan Tomato Sauce

Written by Eydie Desser

A colorful dish to excite the senses! The stunning cauliflower buds are steamed, while the tomato sauce is warmed and sweetened with saffron and diced sweet potato. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world because of the difficulty of harvesting it, but the price comes with many benefits. It originated in Greece, where it was revered for its medicinal properties, as it enhances libido, naturally boosts mood, and improves memory; not to mention its antioxidant properties. We serve this healthy tomato sauce on gluten free, low glycemic, high protein chickpea/lentil pasta. It’s a win-win in taste and nutrition!


  • 1 small head organic white cauliflower (about 1-½ lbs.)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 1 small sweet potato, skinned, finely diced and steamed til just al dente
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups Pomi finely diced tomatoes
  • 1 TB garlic powder (if needed)
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup, or more to taste
  • 6 oz. Chickpea shell pasta
  • ½ cup basil, finely diced


Prepare the cauliflower: 

  1. Using a sharp paring knife, cut away the stem, and cut away the florets. 
  2. Break the large florets into small pieces.

Make the sweet potato saffron tomato sauce:

  1. Heat a 10” saute pan over medium heat for a minute or two, add onions and saffron. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute. Cover the pan and let the mixture cook for another minute or so. Pick up the cover, letting the steam on the cover drip back into the pan. Give the onions a stir and cover again for another minute. Again, take the cover off letting the steam on the cover drip back into the mixture. 
  2. Add the steamed sweet potato, minced garlic, black pepper and pepper flakes, and continue to cook until well combined and the garlic is giving off aroma.
  3. Pour in the diced tomatoes. Taste to see if the mixture needs more garlic flavor. If so, add the garlic powder. Also add in the maple syrup.
  4. Cook until the tomato sauce is flavorful, adjusting the seasonings as needed

Cook the Pasta according to the directions on the package. Just be sure to taste a couple of minutes before the pasta is supposed to be cooked to make sure it is al dente and not mushy.

To Serve:

  1. In a large bowl pour in the cooked pasta and steamed cauliflower. 
  2. Add the tomato sauce and stir to combine. Give it a taste. Add more black pepper and red pepper flakes if needed / wanted.
  3. Lastly, sprinkle the basil on top. Enjoy!
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