Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Tagliatelle in a creamy mushroom and courgette sauce

Since James was returned to me in a new, vegetarian form, I have been trying to modify my meal-planning.  I rarely buy meat at all any more.  Between the veggie and the non-eater, the reasons not to suddenly outweigh any reason to.  Yet vegetarian cooking baffles me, somewhat.  I don't get fully-formed recipes jumping out at me.  When it comes to planning dinner, I immediately entertain a dozen variations of pasta bake, and then I'm stumped.  Every other idea contains some kind of meat.  But this has to stop.  Vegetarian food doesn't have to be boring, does it?

I went shopping today, bought vegetables and meditated on it . A mushroom sauce sounded interesting; a welcome change from tomato at least.  Then I added courgette to the mushroom idea and resorted to Google.  The recipes I found all contained pasta so I decided upon tagliatelle but with a proper sauce.

To make this dish, I used six small bundles of tagliatelle, one garlic clove, chopped, two medium courgettes, grated, 2/3 of a packet of button mushrooms, quartered, black pepper, chives, butter, flour, milk and a handful of grated cheese.

Frankly, when I started cooking this evening, I had no real idea what dinner would become.  It could have easily ended badly.  I began by frying the mushrooms, garlic and courgette in olive oil until soft and golden then added a scoop of butter and a large spoonful of flour.  Once combined, I added milk.  At this point, I had a feeling it could go either way.  I wasn't following a recipe nor making a sauce the way I had been taught; just using instinct.  Thankfully, it seemed to go well.  Unfortunately, I have no idea how much milk I used, just that I stopped pouring when it looked right.  Finally, I added the pepper and chives before sprinkling over the cheese and leaving to thicken for 2-3 minutes.  Meanwhile, I cooked the tagliatelle as per the packet instructions and stirred it into the sauce before serving.

I received vegetarian compliments.

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  1. i love it when i start cooking and have no idea what the end food will be but it ends up to be delicious! Well done you!

  2. I love to experiment too, it doesn't always work but I blog the successes, this looks great!

  3. It looks lovely and is exactly the type of experimental cookery I love.
    If every recipe you can think of contains meat, why not try using Quorn mince or chunks or fillets, or most of the supermarkets also sell soya and wheat protein mince and chunks. It makes a fair substitution. I'm veggie, my partner is not. 3 of the kids are veggie and 4 are not. I'm the chef, so we mainly eat veggie and I don't get many complaints :)

  4. I'm not a big 'creamy' sauce fan, but this sounds interesting with the courgette! May just have to give it a go!