Chickpea Pasta & Cauliflower with Saffron Sweet Potato Tomato Sauce

butterfly Serves: 4

Written By Eydie Desser


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This is a colorful dish to excite the senses.  Cauliflower buds are steamed, and 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, 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 pounds)
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 pinches saffron threads
  • 1 small sweet potato, (orange fleshed), skinned, finely diced and steamed until  just
  •    al dente
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups Pomi finely diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup, or more to taste
  • 8 ounces Chickpea shell pasta
  • ½ cup basil, chiffonade (finely sliced)


Prepare the Cauliflower:

Using a sharp paring knife, cut away the stem, and cut away the florets.  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.  Lift the cover and allow the steam on the cover to drip into the pan.  If the onions are sticking to the pan, add a few drops of water and give the onions a stir.  Cover again and allow the onions to cook for another minute.  Again, take the cover off letting the steam on the cover drip back into the mixture. 
  2. Stir in the steamed sweet potato, minced garlic, black pepper and red pepper flakes, and continue to cook until well combined and the garlic gives off its aroma.  
  3. Pour in the diced tomatoes and maple syrup.  Cook until the tomato sauce is flavorful, adjusting the seasonings as needed.
For the Pasta:

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

To Serve:

In a large bowl pour in the cooked pasta and steamed cauliflower.  Add the tomato sauce and stir to combine.  Give it a taste.  Add more black pepper and red pepper flakes.  Sprinkle the basil on top and serve. 

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