Updated: Jun 6, 2020
creamy, salty, carb loaded and delicious: carbonara is one of those comfort foods that just hits every time. my version uses seasoned mushrooms and an eggy cashew cheese sauce to replace the traditional pork, egg and parmesan, and is topped with smoky coconut bacon for that satisfying texture. i've added spinach cos #eatyagreens
1 pack of pasta
150g mushrooms (i like chestnut or portobello), thinly sliced
2 tbsp liquid smoke (optional)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder or 2 fresh cloves, minced
1 tsp oil (i use grapeseed)
2 handfuls spinach
1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight (if nut free, replace with 1 cup oat milk and omit the water below)
1 cup water
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp kala namak (black salt, or sea salt if you can't find black salt. kala namak is sulphurised which gives it it's eggy taste)
3 cloves garlic
handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 cups coconut bacon
in a large bowl mix together the liquid smoke, smoked paprika, tamari, garlic, oil and 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast.
mix in the sliced mushrooms and leave to marinate. you can do this the night before for optimum flavour, but 10 minutes to an hour is fine.
put the water on to boil the pasta. when the water is boiling cook pasta according to packet instructions. we will finish off cooking the pasta in the sauce so make sure if e.g. it says 8-10 minutes you only cook for 8.
drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
blend the cashews, water, kala namak, nutritional yeast and garlic
sautee the seasoned mushrooms for about 5 minutes. add half of the fresh parsley and continue to sautee for 30 seconds.
add the blended cashew mixture to the pot and let simmer for 1 minute, stirring slowly.
add the pasta to the sauce and continue to stir until the pasta is fully coated. if it sticks, add some of the reserved cooking water.
as a final step mix in the spinach until wilted.
serve topped with coconut bacon and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. enjoy!
*if you have a dehydrator, this meal can also be made raw!.let the mushrooms marinate for an hour and then dehydrate for 3-5 hours until firm and fragrant. use zoodles (zucchini noodles) instead of pasta. to wilt the spinach without cooking, break them down with your hand with a drizzle of oil. reduce the garlic from 3 cloves to 1, as raw garlic is much more potent. mix everything together and enjoy!