Mexican, Japanese, Thai, and Indian are just a few cuisines of the world that are easy to veganize. But veganizing French cuisine? Not so easy. This weekend, after flipping through Jacques Pepin’s Complete Techniques, I decided to give it a go.
My experiment wasn’t a straight veganization. Instead, I like to think that my sauce was simply inspired by Jacques’ instructions for beurre blanc and béchamel sauces—but mine is a combination of white wine, onion, garlic, margarine, and flour. To balance out the very rich sauce that I had created, I added a few handfuls of steamed spinach and cooked pasta to create a complete meal.
Creating a delicious French sauce wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. In fact, it was quite simple. The key is to be creative and not too strict about sticking to the traditional versions of recipes.
White-Wine Cream Sauce With Spinach and Pasta
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup water (or more, if desired)
1 Tbsp. vegan margarine
1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup cooked spinach
4 cups pasta, cooked
•In a medium sauce pan over low heat, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
•Add the white wine and water then bring to a low simmer. Continue simmering for about 10 minutes.
•Add the margarine and flour, stirring until completely combined and the sauce begins to thicken. If the sauce becomes too thick, add more water until you reach the desired consistency, then season with salt and pepper.
•In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach, pasta, and white-wine sauce, then toss until the pasta is completely coated.
Makes 2 to 4 servings