Convincing a skeptic that vegan dishes can actually be creamy won’t be difficult after they try this dish. A classic carbonara is typically made with eggs, cream, parmesan and bacon. This plant-based version has all the flavour and decadence of the traditional pasta dish, but without using any animal ingredients. The creamy sauce is made from soaked cashews, cooked potatoes, and soft tofu.
The cavatappi (I used Banza brand, which is featured in our Chickpea Revolution Cookbook), is made entirely from chickpeas so it’s high in protein and gluten-free. It maintained its shape and al dente texture perfectly, even after mixing with the warm sauce. Our leftovers the next day were delicious and not even slightly mushy.
I typically purchase my coconut bacon from health food stores, but I found a simple 4-ingredient recipe online here. It was quick to make and I’ve got a good amount remaining to use this week in other recipes.
This pasta is perfect for a special night in or for entertaining at home. Kids love it too!
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 10 minutes
1 8oz (227 g) box Banza cavatappi
3/4 cup potato, peeled and chopped
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
Juice from 1 small lemon
1 cup firm tofu, cubed
2 cloves garlic minced
¼ cup chopped onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup coconut bacon, store-bought or homemade (see link above)
1/4 cup vegan parmesan, store-bought or homemade (I used a recipe from the new Hot for Food cookbook)
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Cook pasta according to package instructions (I found 9 minutes was perfect, considering I was adding a warm sauce which would allow the pasta to continue softening).
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain.
- Add potatoes to a high speed blender, along with soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, tofu, garlic, onion, olive oil, salt and water. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Transfer mixture to a small pot and cook through on medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Drain pasta and toss with sauce. Divide among bowls or present on a serving plate. Sprinkle with coconut bacon, vegan parmesan, and fresh parsley. Enjoy!