Copyright 2020 Melanie Spiller. All rights reserved.
Fig and White Pasta Sauce (vegan and conventional)
MelanieSpiller and Coloratura Consulting
Pasta for one (I use gluten-free rice rotelle, but anything will do)2 ½ TBLSP vegan butter2 TBLSP all-purpose flour½ teaspoon salt1 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)6 fresh figs, stemmed and quartered1 TBLSP lemon zest (or, if you’re like me, the zest of a whole lemon)Freshly ground pepper to tastePut pasta water in a large pot. When pasta water is at a boil, add the pasta and then begin the white sauce. Melt 2 TBLSP of the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; gradually stir flour (to make roux) into the melted butter until it’s smooth and bubbly, 2-4 minutes. Don’t quite let it brown. Add salt to the butter and flour, and stir to combine. Remove the roux from the heat and gradually stir in milk until it’s smooth. Just slop the milk in a little, stir, and repeat. If you pour it in all at once, the sauce will “break,” which is ugly and doesn’t taste as good. Once about half of it has been gradually added, you can pour the rest of the milk in. Return the white sauce to the stovetop and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer. Cook and stir the figs and ½ TBLSP of butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat until warm, about 5 minutes. Stir lemon zest and pepper into the white sauce. Put pasta into the serving bowl. Pour the white sauce over the top (I used about 2/3 of it for a single serving) and give it a gentle stir. Serve more figs on top of the sauce, and some zest too, if you like. Non-Vegan AlternativesThe original recipe called for prosciutto (6 slices thin slices, julienned) to be added during the fig warming step. You could also toss in grilled chicken or salmon. Brie and Pear Alternative: Use 3 Bosc pears, cored and thinly sliced, instead of figs. Omit the lemon zest. As a final touch, top pasta with slices of brie cheese and freshly ground pepper.