Issue 12  •  Spring 2013

Better With Bechamel Macaroni & “Beef”

Written by Carolyn Scott-Hamilton
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A dish shrouded in culinary mystery is Bechamel sauce. With a number of stories claiming their stake at this creamy sauce, here are just a few: 1) Chefs to Catherine de Medici, the Italian born French queen, created it for her, 2) It was named after its French inventor, “Marquis de Bechamel,” in the 1600s, and 3) Chef Francois Pierre de la Varenne created it for King Louis the XIV, as he has also been credited as the inventor of “haute cuisine." You’ll find great food lore and other recipes like this one in my cookbook, The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen, just out (January 1, 2012) on Fair Winds Press.
Photos by Jesse James
 

Serves 6-8
A dish shrouded in culinary mystery is Bechamel sauce. With a number of stories claiming their stake at this creamy sauce, here are just a few: 1) Chefs to Catherine de Medici, the Italian born French queen, created it for her, 2) It was named after its French inventor, “Marquis de Bechamel,” in the 1600s, and 3) Chef Francois Pierre de la Varenne created it for King Louis the XIV, as he has also been credited as the inventor of “haute cuisine." You’ll find great food lore and other recipes like this one in my cookbook, The Healthy Voyager’s Global Kitchen, just out (January 1, 2012) on Fair Winds Press. It is also for sale on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

Ingredients:
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 4 cups vegan ground beef
• 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
• 1 tablespoon thyme
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
• 3 egg replacers, mixed, divided
• 6 tablespoons vegan butter
• 6 tablespoons flour
• 8 cups cold soy milk
• salt, white pepper and black pepper, to taste
• 1 teaspoon thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1 (16-ounce) box penne or elbow pasta, cooked
• 1 dash nutritional yeast (optional)

Sauce Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour until smooth and continue whisking for 2 minutes.

3. Whisk in the milk slowly until all the milk has been added.

4. Keep whisking, making sure there are no lumps in it, and season with salt as well as the white and black pepper.

5. Continue whisking until the milk is almost boiling. Whisk in the thyme and nutmeg and whisk until sauce becomes thick. Quickly whisk in the 2 remaining egg replacers and remove from heat.

"Meat" & Pasta Directions:
1. Sauté the onion in oil over medium-high heat until soft.

2. Add garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.

3. Add the ground beef and brown.*

4. Add in the parsley, thyme, and cinnamon until combined.

5. Stir in the can of tomato sauce and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.

6. Remove from the heat and let it cool.

7. Once it has cooled stir in 1 egg replacer and set aside.

8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

9. Mix half the sauce into half of the pasta and pour this mixture into a lasagna or casserole type baking dish. Layer the entire “meat” mixture over the pasta. Top with a little nutritional yeast (if you’re using it). Then add the rest of the pasta and pour in the remaining sauce over the top of it, spreading evenly to cover and coat it.

10. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let cool, cut, and serve.

*For gluten free Bechamel Macaroni and "Beef," use gluten free pasta and vegan ground beef or tvp; for soy free Beschamel Macaroni and "Beef," use soy free vegan ground beef or tvp or rice/nut milk and soy free butter.

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