This vegetable and pasta dish uses a variation on the classic bechamel sauce. Some wholemeal flour, garlic and spices are sauteed in the coconut oil and then the rest of the coconut milk is added instead of dairy milk, plus herbs, pepper and juice from the cooked vegetables.
2 sticks celery
1 medium capsicum
1 medium red onion
2 medium tomatoes
4 medium mushrooms
1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
150g wholewheat pasta spirals, shells or penne
1 (400ml) tin coconut milk
about 25g wholemeal flour
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons mixed herbs
good sprinkling finely ground black pepper
2 teaspoons tomato puree
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Slice and chop the celery, capsicum, red onion, tomatoes and mushrooms then place into a ceramic dish. Do not add water. A little olive oil may be drizzled over them. Put the lid on and set to cook in the microwave on low (simmer) for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, add boiling water and turmeric to the pasta and simmer on the hob for 10 to 13 minutes or in a microwave uncovered. The turmeric gives the pasta a lovely golden colour.
While the vegetables and pasta are cooking, take the solid fat from the top of the tin of coconut milk and heat in a saucepan with the flour, crushed garlic and ginger until it is melted and sizzling. Then add the rest of the coconut milk, herbs, pepper and tomato puree. Stir well while simmering on a low heat and blended into a sauce. When cooking is complete, add the juice from the microwaved vegetables to the sauce and stir. Add a little more flour for thickening the sauce if required.
Strain the pasta and mix in with the cooked vegetables. Serve onto pre-heated plates. Spoon the coconut sauce onto the pasta and grind whole black pepper over according to taste.