personal comfort food #2

comfort for brynja,
cows & hens

‘cheese’-filled pasta with creamy sauce, mushrooms and broccoli


Brynja / 45

enjoys cooking:
“ 3,5 / 5 ”

preferred textures/flavour:
“creamy foods and soft textures”

diet in three words:
“cheese / healthy / convenient”
ultimate comfort food:
“cheese-filled pasta with cream sauce, mushrooms and broccoli and parmesan cheese”
why this meal:
“it’s easy, convenient, indulgent and filling,
I love the flavour”

essential elements of the meal:
“soft texture, nice cheese smell, crunchy texture on the broccoli, smooth and creamy sauce with good flavour from onions, garlic and mushrooms”


A co-designed recipe with Brynja (my mom), showing care through a compassionate act of cooking together, forming a new version of cheese-filled pasta, with dairy and egg free, comfort-for-all ingredients.

Establishing the essential comfort elements of the meal, and letting this guide us in the process. We had to cook apart with digital tools, due to us being in different countries. The goal was to recreate the feeling of comfort in cooking and eating the meal, minimizing harm to the planet and it’s beings in the process.


/ pasta:
- 300g flour (50/50 all purpose and Semolina)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric (to replicate the ‘egg colour’)
- 1 tsp salt
- 150ml water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
/ filling:
- 1 packaging of vegan cream cheese (150g)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper

/ sauce:
- mushrooms 250g
- 1 head of broccoli
- neutral oil for frying
- 1 white onion
- 2-4 cloves of garlic
- a splash of soy sauce (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste

/ cashew parm:
- 50g cashews
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
-salt to taste

U: I thought it was important to make the fresh and filled pasta for your meal… B: Yes, definitely! U: But of course you could make this meal with dried pasta, or some plant-based filled pasta, if you can find it, that would make the recipe a lot easier!“


Mix together the dry ingredients properly, making sure the turmeric is well incorporated. Slowly pour in the oil and water in a well in the flour mixture while stirring. Use your hands to kneed and form a ball of dough. Add a tiny bit of water if the dough is too dry or flour if it is too wet.

The goal is to maintain a very dry dough while managing to form it into a ball. Wrap the dough in a clean and damp tea towel and set aside to rest.

U: How do you usually cut the mushrooms? B: I cut the foot in half and then the head down the middle, and slice it across...”
Cut the mushrooms and broccoli in bitesize pieces and set aside. Chop the onion and garlic and set aside too.

B: Can you see my dough on the screen? Maybe I put too much turmeric? U: Yes, I can kind of see it, how yellow is it on the scale of 1-10? B: well it’s not yellow like the sun... U: ok is it yellow like pasta? B: Yes, I guess so... U: then I think we should be fine!
Cut the ball of dough in three pieces, so we don’t have to work with everything at once. Keep the rest of the dough under a damp tea towel, so it doesn’t dry out. Put a bit of flour on the table, roll out the dough as flat as you can, aiming for 2mm!
(If you have a pasta machine, use it!)

U: Now could be a good time to ask Óli (my brother) to help! B: Ok... Óli you can help out now!
To make the tortellini shape we need to cut the dough in circles, use a round cookie cutter, or an opened tin can.
With the circles cut out, place a teaspoon of filling on each round and dab some water on the edges with your finger, be careful to not overfill the pasta! Fold in half, avoiding any air bubbles around the filling, pinching together the edges.

With the half moon shaped pasta in your hand, make a dent in the filling on the long side. Wet one corner of the dough with water and pinch together, overlapping with the other corner. Place the pasta on a floured plate or cutting board and set aside, repeat with the remaining dough.


While making the pasta, you can start frying the mushrooms, onion and garlic in a pan with some oil. Fry until it has got some colour, then add the cream, a bit of soy sauce, season with salt and pepper and let it simmer.
B: How long does it take for the pasta to boil? U: It’s very quick, just around 2 minutes! You can see that it’s ready when it floats to the top! B: Ok!

Place the pasta in a big pot of boiling water, stir it around gently so it doesn’t stick to the pot. Boil for around 2 minutes, depending on the amount of pasta in the pot.

Now add the broccoli to the sauce and place a lid on top to let it steam, for about 2 minutes, so the broccoli remains a bit crunchy!
Ó: What is this nutritional yeast? U: It’s a cheesy flavoured inactivated yeast!

To make the parmesan topping, add the cashews, nutritional yeast and salt in a mortar and grind it down to a crumbly parmesan texture! You can also make this in a spice grinder or blender 

When the pasta is ready, drain it and plate it with the sauce. Top it with the cashew parmesan and enjoy! 

   una's pasta brynja’s pasta / una’s pasta

U: How is it? B: Mmm it’s delicious! ...The pasta is a little bit thick, I should have maybe made it a bit thinner! U: Yes, it would of course be best to use a pasta machine for this!

U: What do you think about the flavour? Do you think it meets your requirement of a the creamy and cheesy flavour? B: It’s definitely nice and creamy, I don’t think the cheese flavour is the same - it’s different, but definitely not worse. I really like the sauce! Ó: yes the sauce is super nice! B: And the broccoli is crunchy, like I wanted! U: That’s good! What do you think about the cheese filling in the pasta? B: I really like it, I wouldn’t mind eating that on it’s own!
U: Finally I want to ask you if this meal meets your comfort requirements of the original? B: Yes definately! It ticks that box, completely! B: I think everyone is pretty pleased with this! And it’s not that complicated, I though it might be a bit harder.. U: Yes, it’s so convenient with the ready products from Oatly, it’s just like cooking with typical dairy ingredients! B: Yes, I also really like that the colour of the pasta is like the original, it looks really nice!
U: Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this with me! B: Of course, thank you!