This little treasure made it into my repertoire courtesy of my better half. Challenged to cook a meal for us to eat hot one night, and cold the following day, and with less than an hour to prepare the whole thing, his brilliance lead him to this. The magic is actually in the sauce. You can essentially combine anything with this slightly sweet, thick, and creamy sauce. Add a dollop of vegan sour cream or mayo and you’ve got yourself a savory treat.
1 ½ cups of uncooked pasta (spinach tagliatelle is ideal)
2 – 3 med. carrots
2 – 3 med. heads of broccoli
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup of mushrooms (shiitake preferable)
2 cups of spinach
2 cups of kale
2 cups of bok choi
1 Tbsp of Mixed herbs (basil/rosemary/thyme)
2 Tbsp hemp hearts – optional (for sprinkling on top)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast –optional (for sprinkling)
For the sauce
2 Tbsp of vegan butter
1-2 tsp of all-purpose flour
1 cup of unsweetened soy milk
1 – 2 Tbsp of mustard (I use whole-grain English)
Salt and pepper to taste
Serves: 6-7Prep time: 30 mins.Cooking time: 15-20 mins
Preheat the oven to 180ºC
Cook the pasta for 10 mins according to directions.
Wash and chop the broccoli and carrots into bite-sized chunks. Steam until almost soft, usually no more than 10 mins. NB: they will continue to cook after you’ve taken them off the heat, and soggy broccoli is no-ones friend.
Fry the diced onion and garlic in a hot pan for 2 mins or until slightly golden.
Add the mushrooms to the onion and garlic, and cook for a further few minutes.
Drain the pasta, broccoli and carrots, return to them to the one pot.
When done, add the onions and mushrooms to the pot too.
Wash the greens. Remove the stems of the kale and the tails of the bok choi. Cut into large chunky pieces and blanche in a hot iron skillet or frying pan with a splash of water, for 2-3 mins. Beware: overcooking will reduce the flavour.
Add the greens to the pot.
For the sauce
Melt butter in a frying pan on a low heat.
Carefully add 1-2 teaspoons of flour, slowly adding milk and stirring continuously to prevent it from forming clumps.
Add the salt, mustard and mixed herbs to the liquid. Stir and taste to test. Adjust salt/pepper/mustard combination to taste.
Pour the sauce into the pan covering the ingredients as well as you can. Mix thoroughly. Transfer to an oven-safe dish.
Peel the skin from the courgette and discard. Carefully peel the remainder of the courgette lengthways.Lay the strips on top of the other ingredients in the oven-safe dish. Sprinkle hemp seeds or nutritional yeast on top to add a crunchy element to the dish.
Bake for 15-20 minutes and serve warm with some vegan sour cream or vegan mayo. (But it tastes good cold too.)