This olive oil béchamel sauce is a healthy alternative to milk cream. It gets flavored with black garlic for a creamy and hearty pasta dish.
This black garlic creamy linguini pasta with olive oil béchamel sauce isn’t just for those of us who like a plate of creamy pasta but without the saturated fat that comes from milk cream. It’s for everyone! When I was younger I didn’t use to watch what I ate, at least to the degree I do now. Cooking your own meals and seeing firsthand what you put in your pot – and thereby, inside your body – makes you, over time, more conscious about the way you cook and the ingredients you use. That’s why, sometimes, instead of making a pot of pasta drenched in cream, I make this healthier olive oil béchamel sauce 🙂
Well, what can I say… After the pork skewers (souvlaki) with black garlic tzatziki and the velvety mushroom soup with black garlic and porcini, I figured it was about time to add some black garlic to a pasta recipe. Will this black garlic obsession ever stop? I don’t know! What I know is that this recipe is very easy and quick to make, ideal for a weeknight, meatless, dinner and pretty healthy too (unless you overdo it with the parmesan cheese!). Linguini is a bit fancier than spaghetti, but this recipe works with any kind of pasta you have in your kitchen.
Made with olive oil, this béchamel sauce has nothing to be jealous of when compared with a béchamel made with butter. The key here is to sauté the flour with the olive oil very well until toasted and nutty, a procedure which will contribute to a very flavorful dish. Walnuts also add great flavor to this dish, plus a good amount of protein and some healthy, unsaturated, good-for-your-heart, fat.
- Cook the flour with the olive oil very well, until browned and fragrant. This will give the béchamel a nice nutty flavor
- Linguini works well here but you can also use other types of pasta like spaghetti, pappardelle, farfalle or penne.
- Béchamel sauce and nutmeg are best friends! Use freshly grated nutmeg for best results.
- For a vegan dish, use almond milk and nutritional yeast instead of cow’s milk and parmesan cheese. Adjust the quantity of the nutritional yeast to your liking.
- You can’t substitute regular garlic for black garlic since the taste is very different. However, if you don’t have black garlic and want to use regular garlic, I would suggest sautéing for 1-2 minutes with the olive oil and flour, prior adding the milk.
- Substitute roasted hazelnuts, almonds or pecans for walnuts.
- 3 tablespoons (25 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons (30 grams) olive oil
- 1 1/4 cup (300 grams) almond milk (or regular milk for vegetarian)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg, or more according to taste
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2-3 cloves black garlic, minced or finely grated
- 1 /2 cup grated parmesan cheese for vegetarians, or some nutritional yeast for vegans
- 1/2 pound pasta, uncooked
Make the black garlic bechamel: Cook the flour with the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, until it’s browned and starts to smell nutty. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the milk gradually, about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly with a whisk. At first, it will thicken, but as you continue to add milk it will loosen up. Whisk until smooth and return to heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until bubbly and thickened. Remove from the heat and add the salt, the pepper, the parsley, the walnuts, the black garlic, the nutmeg, the lemon zest, and the parmesan cheese. Stir to mix and set aside.
Make the pasta: Cook the pasta according to the packaging directions, drain it and return it to the pot.
Add the béchamel sauce and stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of milk.
Serve with some extra chopped walnuts and parsley. Eat!
If you find that the bechamel sauce is too thick, just add a little more milk or water until you get a creamy consistency.
This recipe doubles easily to serve 4 people.
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