I wish I had thought of this recipe a few years ago when I had to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for the vegetarian. It would have made my life so much easier and I might have completely avoided the emotional breakdown. Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but it was stressful!
Looking back, all holidays were the same for me as a child. I grew up in Newfoundland where eating is a religious practice. We all know that eating brings family and friends together, but when referring to traditional Newfoundland culture, preparing meals for holiday time was a big ordeal. And nearly every household celebrated with food the same way.
Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and even New Year’s Day, were all days when my mom would prepare a traditional Newfoundland meal. And depending on the season and what was readily available, the meal was always the same.
She cooked a huge turkey, which was stuffed with a bread-based stuffing and seasoned with a traditional Newfoundland spice called savoury. (Many people will suggest that summer savoury is the same thing, but a true Newfoundlander will argue that it is not! You can get the real stuff here if you need it, but you can make this particular recipe without it: Savoury.)
The turkey was served with boiled potatoes, turnip, cabbage, carrots, etc., which was all cooked in the same pot with salt beef. I’m getting off topic… The point here, is that this pasta dish reminds me of those holiday flavours. In fact, if you’ve ever tasted the vegetarian stuffed tofurky, the flavours are repeated in this pasta dish.
This particular dish is so easy to prepare and may be served to the fussiest vegetarian. And, while the rest of your family and friends indulge in that delicious turkey, your vegetarian counterpart can enjoy a wonderfully tasty meal of their very their own. (Not like years before when you gave them a plate of raw carrots and celery!) With this particular recipe, you’ll have one very happy – and included! – vegetarian at your dinner table. Congratulations! You’re a considerate and gracious host!
- 1 package onion soup mix
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 4 cups half and half
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 package prepared tortellini pasta
- Start by melting the butter in a large skillet on medium heat.
- Once the butter is fully melted and begins to bubble, add the onion soup mix.
- Stir the soup mix, but don't be worried if it appears to be lumpy. That will fix itself. Allow the mixture to cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Next, add the flour and keep the mixture moving. The flour will form a paste, but keep it moving around the pan so that the flour taste will cook off and together with the butter, will form the best thickening agent for your sauce.
- After 2 minutes or so, add the half and half. Allow the milk to come to a slight simmer. At this point, reduce the heat to a simmer so that the milk does not scald. Keep stirring occasionally and keep your eye on the pan.
- In another sauté pan, sauté the mushrooms in a little butter and season with black pepper. These will be added to the sauce later.
- Add the soy sauce, thyme, sage, black pepper, and salt. Only add the salt if you feel you need it. The onion soup mix is quite salty, and I used salted butter, so I did not need any additional salt. Stir well, making sure everything is well incorporated.
- Check to see if the sauce has the desired consistency level for you. I prefer a thick sauce so that it coats the pasta well.
- Start to cook your pasta according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain and add the pasta back to the pot.
- Add the sautéd mushrooms to the pot and ladle in as much of the onion sauce as you see fit. Gently stir the pasta and mushrooms into the sauce and serve.