Non - Vegetarian Meals

The White Dinner

The White Dinner – by Kate Davies

We all know them: the Picky Eaters, kids who only eat white foods. I’ve often told my kids that I will never force-feed them anything weird or gross, so if I put it on the table the odds are good that the food is both edible and nutritious. Somehow, even when faced with such wisdom, I get complaints.

We are quite lucky, as our dinners can literally be quite colorful (see Lettuce Wraps). One evening I served a meal everyone loved, and after we tucked in we realized that I had inadvertently served every kid’s dream dinner: all white. Here it is, I hope your kids like it as much as mine do!

The White Dinner

Print Recipe


  • cauliflower: 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste (don’t be shy)
  • pasta: I like orecchiette because the ‘ear’ shape holds lots of tasty sauce.
  • sauce: 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 oz (150g) bacon or pancetta, diced
  • 1-2 leeks, chopped
  • chicken stock or white wine, for deglazing
  • 10 oz (300ml) cream
  • 3 oz (85g) shredded parmesan
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste



cauliflower: combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands. Kids can do this part.


spread the cauliflower out on a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil, and bake at 425 F (220 C) for about 20 minutes


prepare the garlic, shallot, bacon, and leeks and set aside.


heat a large sauce pan to medium, and add the bacon.


once the bacon has melted and you have some liquid fat in the pan (about 5 minutes), add the shallots, garlic, and leeks.


saute until the ingredients turn translucent, stirring only occasionally. If the mixture looks dry, deglaze with chicken stock, white wine, or a bit of water.


add the cream and turn the heat to low.


simmer the sauce until it has thickened and reduced at a low bubble, about 10 minutes.


taste the sauce and add the seasonings, keeping in mind that the parmesan will add a bit of salt at the end. I like to add just a tiny pinch of nutmeg.


stir the cheese in right before you serve the sauce.


add the cooked pasta to the sauce, stir well, and serve.


Take care when reheating, because the sauce likes to break. It will still taste delicious, but it can come as a surprise.



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