Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara & A Healthier Taste of Home [RECIPE]
Good Morning Everyone!
Happy Friday!! Woohoo! We made it through another week. How are you? I hope you’re doing well. Around here we have been munching on Italian food and feeling blissfully content. Growing up, my entire father’s side of the family is Italian. They are a loud, beautiful, rambunctious group of people. They are fiercely loyal and live within 10 miles of each other. Every holiday season my family would travel up to New York to visit everyone. There were platters upon platters of food being passed around. Every dish had some kind of meat and sauce. It was an Italian-American heaven.
The one recipe I remember coming home with us was spaghetti carbonara. It was one of the few dishes I remember my father cooking. He would wait until the noodles were piping hot and drained. Then suddenly he would toss in butter and eggs and begin mixing quickly to allow the two to make a gentle cream sauce without the egg scrambling to the noodle. I was fascinated. I made that dish years later complete with the Italian sausage and bacon. It was rich, very filling, but way too heavy for my liking.
And then came last night’s recipe. 🙂
I had been craving carbonara again only this time it was going to be vegan. I woke up in the morning and began soaking a cup of cashews in water and set them aside until dinner time. By the time 6:00 rolled around I was itching to cook. To replace the bacon in this dish, I used mushrooms with smoked paprika instead. It was brilliant! Without me even saying so, the Noob Chef Junior commented, “these mushrooms taste like bacon!”. I thought so too. The sauce was mixed up in my high-speed blender consisting of: nutritional yeast, cashews, almond milk, paprika, salt, black pepper, and a little garlic powder. Now you all know I’ll be honest and say when something doesn’t taste like the original version. But y’all… it really did!
I could hear the crack of the baseball bat against the ball knowing this was a home run! Everything was thick, creamy, soothing and so flavorful! I added sauteed greens which made this dish even more filling. It was heavenly and the family lapped it up without feeling bloated. I hope you try this recipe too! It’s definitely a keeper for whenever you’re in need of some great, Italian comfort food. Stay tuned for my next post on what we had for dessert: vegan tiramisu! Have a wonderful Friday everyone and as always, keep on cooking! ❤
Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara
For the Pasta:
- 1 box (16 ounces) thin spaghetti
- 3 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
For the Sauce:
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 8 hours
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (or more if you want it super cheezy!)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle some olive oil. Toss in the mushrooms and cover with smoked paprika. Saute for 5-8 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
- Then fill a large pot with water and cook pasta according to package instructions. (Mine took 8 minutes).
- Drain and dump into a large bowl. Optional: Use kitchen scissors to cut up pasta into bite size pieces.
- Now make the sauce: combine cashews, olive oil, garlic, nutritional yeast, milk, lemon juice, pepper, salt, and paprika in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the sauce in the pasta and mix well to combine. Yummmm! 🙂
- Mix in the mushrooms.
- Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot. Enjoy!