Updated: Aug 28, 2021
This classic comfort meal just became fancier than ever. Crispy and chewy pieces of Yaycon pairs so well with creamy sauce and garlicy bread & thyme topping
Serves: 6 Cooking time: 30 minutes + 25-35 minutes oven time Difficulty: Easy
400 g dried conchiglie pasta (or macaroni spiral or penne if that's what you can get)
1/2 sea salt
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
freshly ground black pepper
1 litre unsweetened oat or soya milk (or read tips below)
120 g dairy-free margarine
75 g plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon English mustard
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
50 g vegan cheese (optional)
8-12 tenderstem broccoli, trimmed and halved
5 Yaycon rashers, sliced into inch size long pieces
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced or finely chopped
small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
80 g fresh breadcrumbs
Cook pasta according to the packet instruction, drain and set aside.
Preheat the oven to the 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 5.
Make bechamel sauce: - Prepare one pan with oat/soy milk, salt, onion, bay leaves and ground pepper. Place it on a medium high heat and bring to a low simmer for 2 minutes. Strain discarding onion and leaves then set on a side. - Now to the roux - in a second pan melt the margarine then add the flour stirring continuously until it forms a paste. Job done! - Ladle by ladle pour soy liquid into the roux, keeping it on a medium heat at all times and whisking until smooth and all of the milk has been used. - Bring it to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. Turn off the heat, add nutritional yeasts, mustard and vegan cheese if using. Now on to the last ingredient...
Place a small frying pan on a medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, breadcrumbs, thyme and stir until combined. Turn the heat off.
Prepare large baking dish then fill in up with cooked pasta. Pour bechamel sauce over, top with broccoli, Yaycon slices, cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with breadcrumbs you've just done.
Place in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until golden and bumbling.
Serve accompanied with steamed or fried vegetables, or a simple side salad.
Don't have enough vegan milk left in the fridge or you got nothing at all??? Honestly, I got to say that using any of those as a substitute for cows milk in making sauces is very often over rated :-P It's good to have some for a colour so I usually use half milk/half water ratio and I still got another half of litre left in the fridge for my matcha latte on the next day!
Adding a splash of white wine to the sauce will only make your bake even better!