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Penne Pasta
in a
Bechamel Sauce

pictured with baby peas and mushrooms

Pasta in Bechamel SauceClick on image to view full size

This is a quick and tasty way to serve pasta that gets away from the traditional and ever present tomato based sauces.  Vegans enjoy their rich white sauces too, you know!!

Bryanna Clark Grogan has created a very tasty bechamel sauce that she has published in her Nonna's cookbook, as well as on her webpage.  She's improved on the "run of the mill" vegan white sauces that use only soymilk for the liquid, by using part soymilk, part broth.  In her cookbook, Bryanna also provides soy-free, wheat-free, and corn-free options for this sauce.

(By the way, if you do not already own a copy of Nonna's Italian Kitchen cookbook, stop right now and run out and get a copy!!   You will be treated to over 200 pages of recipes -- plus Bryanna's well-researched history into Italian foods.  Pasta will never be boring with this book ... it is my go-to cookbook when I have company!!)

Bryanna Clark Grogan's Vegan Bechamel Sauce

makes 2 cups

1 cup soy, almond, or rice milk
1/2 c. extra-firm silken tofu or regular medium-firm tofu, crumbled
1/2 c. water
1 "chicken-style" vegetarian broth cube (or enough for 1 c. of liquid), crumbled
       (I use one Rapunzel's vegan bullion cube)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance or olive oil
2 Tbsp. white, unbleached flour
Freshly-grated nutmeg
White pepper

Place the milk, tofu, water, salt, and bullion cube in the blender and blend until very smooth. Set aside.

Melt the margarine in a medium, heavy saucepan and whisk in the flour. Whisk it over medium-high heat for a few minutes, but remove from heat before it starts to change color.   Scrape this into the blender mixture and blend for a few seconds, then pour the mixture back into the pot. Stir over medium-high heat until it thickens and boils; turn down and simmer on low for a few minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg and pepper.

For the recipe above, take one recipe of this bechamel sauce, cooked penne pasta, mushrooms, and frozen baby peas (cook the peas for about a minute in boiling water first).  Combine and heat on low for 10 minutes or so, allowing the pasta to soak up some of the sauce.

Top with Bryanna's fabulous Parmesan Cheese!


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