Recipe 14: Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce

It might sound like a bit of a dull dish, but trust me: once you put one spoonful of this vegan white cream sauce into your mouth, you are forever going to regret the fact that you will not be eating this with every meal in all the years to come. I cooked this for my parents tonight, and made all of it up as I was cooking, but I guess the best results come from creativity.

When I went to bed yesterday, I decided to try out being completely vegan for a week. This is not out of the blue, because I was already vegetarian for a while, and I recently found out I am lactose intolerant. It is going to be tough, because I will be staying with my non-vegan (or non-vegetarian, for that matter) best friend at my apartment next week, but I am sure we can make something work. I am also chair of my school's cooking society, so I hope it won't be a problem if I turn completely vegan for good. It should not hold me back.

Anyway, let's get to cooking the best thing I have had in a while!
What do you need (for 4 people)?
  • Olive oil - 2 tbsp
  • Flour - 1/2 cup
  • Soy milk - 2 tbsp
  • Vegetable stock, warm - 3 cups
  • Soy cream - 1 cup
  • Mushroom, quartered - 4 cups
  • Leeks - 2 whole, cut into rings
  • Rocket salad - 2 to 3 handfuls
  • Pine tree seeds - 4 tbsp
  • Pasta
How to make it?
  1. I recommend you measure everything listed above out before getting started. It is good to have everything ready, because some steps need to be executed quite rapidly. As for the pasta, you need to look at the indications on the back of the pasta bag, also for how much you need per person.
  2. The sauce needs to be made much earlier than the pasta, about half an hour earlier, because it needs to cook for quite a while. Start off by putting the olive oil in a big pan that can have a lid on it. You need to pick a pan that fits all of the cut up mushrooms and leek in it, and still not be able to overflow. Once the olive oil is hot, add the flour, and whisk well. It will very quickly turn into a thick paste, and you need to cook this for about a minute.
  3. After cooking it for a minute, add the soy milk as you keep whisking. This thickens up very quickly, and once it does, add one cup of vegetable stock. Keep whisking, and once it thickened, add another cup. Repeat this one more time. and you should have a rather nice basic sauce. Let boil for another minute, and add the soy cream.
  4. The basis for the sauce is done, so add in the mushrooms and leek rings. It will look like there is not enough sauce to cook this in at all, but there will be eventually. The vegetables will release many juices, and this adds to the flavor and amount of liquid of the sauce. Keep on medium heat for 40 minutes. The mushrooms must soften almost completely. It is important that you keep stirring the sauce every 2 minutes, or it will burn and cook unequally.
  5. Keep in mind that you also need to cook the pasta. I needed to cook mine for 10 minutes, but I started 15 minutes before I had to serve it, as pasta can take longer than directed.
  6. After the sauce cooked for 35 minutes, add the rocket salad, and let cook for another 5 minutes. The sauce should be creamy white, and it should be quite liquid-y.
  7. As a finishing touch, add some pine tree seeds to the dish once it has been plated up. There are only soft textures in this meal, so pine tree seeds give it that little extra bite. Maybe put some rocket leaves on top too, for decoration. You need some color on your plate!


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