Pasta and vegetables in white sauce

Cover a large handful of pasta in boiling water, add a little salt, and cook on a roiling boil until the pasta is al dente. Meanwhile, fry 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced, 2 mushrooms, thinly sliced, 3-4 okra, thinly sliced and a handful of green beans, thinly sliced, in a little oil until beginning to brown, then set aside. Drain the pasta and add to the vegetables; rinse out the saucepan used for the pasta and return to the heat. Melt 2 tbsp (25g) butter then add 2 tbsp plain flour and stir until a thick, bubbly paste is formed. Cook for a minute on a medium heat, then add 2/3 cup milk in small increments, making sure the sauce has thickened enough to leave the sides before adding more milk. Stir in the pasta, vegetables, and a large handful of baby spinach, then season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat once the spinach has wilted.

Serves 1 generously

Variations:

  • For a cheese sauce, add a handful of grated cheese to the sauce with the pasta and vegetables.
  • For vegan, substitute the butter for dairy free margarine and the milk for slightly less of a non dairy alternative such as soya or hemp. Don’t use coconut milk – it doesn’t work well for a white sauce.
  • Other green vegetables such as peas, courgette, broad beans etc. will work well. Chard or pak choi can be used instead of the spinach, although it’s best to separate the leaves and stems and cook the stems with the rest of the vegetables.
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