Spaghetti à la Carbonara always comes with some kind of discussion. If you even dare to add cream to this dish, you can get the feeling that you’re not even worth eating it! Luckily, this faux pas can’t happy to us, because we don’t use dairy cream anyway.
Stupidly though all the actual ingredients are also causing big troubles: bacon, egg, cheese. Except for the pasta itself, this Italian classic is really, really un-vegan. Instead of substituting each ingredient, we rather wanted to create a creaming vegan carbonara version that gives you a similar feeling like eating the original. Our sauce is based on cashews (there’s not even vegan cream in it, ha!) that gets an umami flavor from miso paste and nutritional yeast (we know people like to skip on these ingredients since they often don’t have them at home, but we can only look deep into your eyes and tell you always to have them in your kitchen).
There are plenty of choices to substitute bacon, but this one was an emergency solution once when I couldn’t find any smoked tofu in my fridge. But what I could find were jarred sun-dried tomatoes that already have a nice salty taste and a good bite. If you chop and fry them (add a few drops of liquid smoke, if you have it at home!), they become a crispy but still juicy topping that you can use for many other dishes as well (from pizza to bread).
When I took these vegan spaghetti carbonaras to the office for lunch, a few people tried them. My favorite comment: "It tastes like real spaghetti carbonara … with curdled egg. But good!" Well, … fair enough.
Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara
- Add soaked cashews, white miso paste and nutritional yeast to a blender and blend until combined. Add water and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut dried tomatoes and fry in a large frying pan (it needs to fit the sauce and pasta later). Season with soy sauce and liquid smoke.
- Cook spaghetti in salted water until al dente, then drain but reserve some of the cooking water.
- Add the cashew mixture and cooked spaghetti to the frying pan and toss to coat. Add as much reserved cooking water until the sauce is creamy as desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with vegan Parmesan cheese on top.
- 100 g (3.5 oz) raw cashews (natural)
- 50 g (1.7 oz) chopped almonds
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 0.5 tsp garlic powder
- Throw all the ingredients in a food processor and let's mix until everything transformed into a parmesan-friendly texture. Don't be afraid of some bigger pieces of almonds or cashews, that just makes your parmesan a bit crunchy.
- Yay, and that's it! Seal it airtight and just sprinkle it on your pasta dishes or mix it into your pesto.
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