Penne Béchamel is a delicious dish to unwind at dinner time with. This dish was inspired by the Egyptian Macaroni Béchamel. It consists of a seitan mince, a cheesy flavoursome béchamel sauce and penne pasta!
Seitan is a great protein source for vegans packed with protein, iron and a range of other nutrients. We will give a more in-depth description of it in the near future, with recipes included, as it is an ingredient we have been experimenting with for a few weeks.
We purchased our Vital Wheat Gluten (to make the seitan) from BuyWholefoodsOnline. The quality of their vital wheat gluten is great. However, their prices are lower than all other brands we’ve seen (even on Amazon). We will suggest purchasing it directly from them (using the link above) than from their Amazon store as, for some reason, it’s £2-3 more expensive on there. From their website, the price starts at £2.38 for a 500g bag and goes all the way up to a 25kg bag (we don’t think you’ll ever need that much). We purchased a 1kg bag costing £4.28. For a single person, this bag should last for about a month.*
Without further ado, here’s the recipe to our Penne Béchamel!
100-200g Penne Pasta
50g Vital Wheat Gluten
2tbsp Nutritional Yeat
1/4tsp Season All
1/6tsp Smoked Paprika
1/6tsp Smoked Chilli Powder
1/6tsp Black Pepper
1/6tsp Garlic, minced
A splash of liquid smoke
2-3g Vegetable Stock Cube
1tbsp Chilli Hummus
5tbsp Soy Sauce
1tsp Kimchi Liquid (from a jar of kimchi)
1tsp Brown Sauce
1/2tsp Tomato Purée (optional)
20-30ml Almond Milk
1tsp Lemon Juice
1tsp milled flax seeds (optional)
1.5tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4-1/2 Medium Onion, minced
1 Large Garlic Clove, minced
3tbsp All-Purpose Flour
Oat Milk (alternatively, use almond milk)
Sea Salt, to taste
Black Pepper, to taste
Nutritional Yeast, to taste
- Cook the pasta till al dente and set aside.
Seitan Mince (pre-heat oven to 180℃/356°F)
- Combine all the dry ingredients (excluding the stock cube and breadcrumbs) in a mixing bowl.
- Combine the wet ingredients and the stock cube in another bowl or jug till the stock cube and hummus are completely dissolved.
- Combine both the wet and the dry ingredients using a fork, spoon or spatula. A dough should form. It will not look like dough made from flour, so do not be alarmed.
- Using your hands, rub the dough around the bowl until the sides of the bowl are clean then knead the dough (in the bowl) for about five minutes before leaving it to rest for an additional five minutes.
- Loosely wrap dough in a piece of foil paper by placing it in the foil paper and loosely rolling it into a misshapen cylindrical shape. Do not secure the ends.
- Place the seitan roll in a preheated oven for 45-60mins.
- After the time has elapsed, unwrap the seitan and leave to cool for 5-10mins.
- When a bit cooler, cut/slice it into chunks and place it in a food processor alongside a few teaspoons of the optional breadcrumbs and optional milled flaxseeds. The optional ingredients will create a dryer, more minced meat-like texture.
- Taste and add additional spices, if needed.
Béchamel Sauce (depending on your dish and size of pasta, more or less might be needed)
- In a saucepan, combine the extra virgin olive oil, minced onions and garlic. Gently heat the mixture.
- When the oil is hot and sizzling a bit (ensure the garlic doesn’t burn), take the pan off the heat and stir in the flour until a thick paste is created.
- Return the pan to the heat and cook this paste for about a minute before whisking/stirring in the oat/almond milk (adding about 50ml at a time).
- Do not stop stirring/whisking vigorously during this period to dissolve the paste and prevent lumps.
- The plant milk will thicken over the heat so add more, as needed until a thick pancake batter consistency is reached.
- Season, to taste, with sea salt, black pepper and nutritional yeast.
Penne Béchamel (pre-heat oven to 180℃/356°F)
- Using a splash of water, loosen up the pasta if it’s stuck together.
- Combine 3/4 of the béchamel sauce with the pasta until evenly distributed.
- Scoop half of the mixture into a glass oven-safe dish/casserole dish and spread it out evenly.
- Spread out all but a tablespoon or two of the seitan mince over the first layer of pasta followed by the rest of the pasta.
- Spread the remaining 1/4 of the béchamel sauce over the pasta and sprinkle the leftover seitan mince over that.
- Place the dish in your preheated oven until the top layer has browned till it looks like the top layer of a lasagna dish.
- Leave to cool for about 10mins before slicing.
If you try the recipe, upload a picture of it to Instagram with the hashtag #lickyourplaterecipe so we can have a look at and like it.
* – depends on how much and how frequently you eat it