It’s my non-vegetarian daughter, Alex, who had this for lunch. Yep, a vegetarian pasta dish for an omnivorous daughter — and she loved it. And what did vegetarian daughter Sam have? Vegetarian lasagne, the recipe for which I’ll post later.
So, how is it possible to make an omnivore adore a vegetarian dish? First of all, Alex loves pasta in any form or shape. But she especially loves pasta with my cheesy white sauce topping. And that was exactly what I prepared for her. There is a vegetarian baked macaroni post in the archive, this is simpler but just as delicious.
Lacto-vegetarian baked spaghetti
For the topping
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk depending on how chunky you want the topping
- 1/4 cup grated cheese any kind
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan.
- Add the onion and garlic. Cook gently over medium heat until softened.
- Pour in the tomato sauce. Season with salt, pepper and a bit of sugar. Boil gently until slightly reduced and thickened.
- Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan. Toss to coat each noodle with sauce. Transfer the pasta and sauce to a heatproof ramekin which must be large enough to leave a two-inch space above the pasta.
- Make the sauce. Heat the butter and stir in the flour to make a blonde roux (see post about making a roux).
- Pour in the milk in a thin stream, stirring as you pour. Stir until the sauce is smooth.
- Add the cheese to the sauce. Stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the sauce over the pasta. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned.