A traditional carbonara is pasta mixed with egg, cream and parmesan then topped with crispy bacon. That’s right, I’m veganizing a dish made from eggs…cream….cheese and BACON! haha. The vegetarian variety offered in restaurants is usually Mushroom Cabonara (but still with all the cream etc) so I decided to include mushrooms in my version but I also added some smoked tofu to replace the bacon, which is my new favorite tofu!!

Smoked Tofu and Mushroom Carbonara With ‘Mung Bean’ Pasta [Vegan]

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Serves

4

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Ingredients

  • 1 Small Cauliflower
  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 3 tblspn Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 tspn Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Punnet Chestnut or Closed Cup Mushrooms
  • 1 tspn Dried Mixed Italian Herbs
  • 7 ounces Smoked Tofu, sliced into small pieces
  • Mung Bean Fettucine (Enough to feed 4 if you can't find this, any gluten-free pasta will work nicely)
  • Parsley to garnish
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Preparation

  1. Cut the cauliflower into small florets and place in a saucepan with the milk and water and bring to the boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes until really soft. Add the nutritional yeast, garlic powder and a pinch or salt and pepper then blend until smooth and creamy (I did this by using a hand held blender in the pan but you can also carefully transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth). Place to one side to use later.
  2. Put the pasta on to boil, this will take around 15 minutes on a high heat, it will be ready when it is soft but it will still be al dente. I think it would be very hard to really overcook this pasta!
  3. While the pasta is cooking finely dice the onion, slice the leek and then fry in a little oil or water on a gentle heat (do not allow to brown) for approx 8-10 mins until softened then add the mushrooms sliced thinly, dried herbs, a pinch salt and pepper and the smoked tofu and cook for a further 10 minutes until the mushrooms have wilted.
  4. Drain the pasta and then pour it into the pan with the mushrooms and tofu and pour in the white sauce. Stir everything together and allow it all to heat through in the pan. Serve in pasta bowls with a sprinkle of chopped parsley as garnish.
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