Monday, December 1, 2014

Dining In - Pasta Carbonara with Shiitake Bacon

Vegan Pasta Carbonara with Shiitake Bacon - Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen Veega Blog
Pasta Carbonara with Shiitake Bacon - Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen

This recipe came from Chloe Coscarelli's newest cookbook Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen (buy a copy here). I don't own this yet, but she was kind enough to share this recipe with her fans and followers on her website, link here. I made it with my mom for a family dinner. Though my dad modified his by adding ham and making it not vegan, it was enjoyed by all. I was happy to eat it again for leftovers the next day. The sauce was creamy and light, similar to an alfredo sauce. I'm not a fan of mushrooms, but of all of the varieties I do prefer shiitake the most. The method of baking these until they crisp up for that"bacon" crunch for a topping was a great idea. They were coated in olive oil and it added nice texture to an otherwise simple bowl of pasta. I had many helpings of this, as is the usual struggle when eating Italian food. The tofu in the sauce brought in some needed protein along with the brown rice pasta I used. I would make this again without a doubt! I served it with a few slices of toasted Italian bread to soak up any sauce, but the sauce was fairly thick and stuck to the pasta instead.

Shiitake Bacon Topping
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and cut into thin slices, about 1/4 inch
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pasta Carbonara
Brown Rice Fettucini Pasta - Veega Blog1 pound gluten-free pasta (recommended: linguine, spaghetti, fettuccine)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped 
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Red Star Yeast Flakes - Vegan Veega Blog14 oz. of soft tofu (I used silken tofu and didn't have any issues)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
Ground black pepper
Fresh parsley, for garnish
Vegan Parmesan or nutritional yeast, for topping

To Prepare Shiitake Bacon:
Start by making the shiitake bacon first. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Toss mushrooms with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake on large cooking sheet for about 30 minutes, turning frequently with a spatula, until lightly browned and crisp.

To Prepare the Pasta Carbonara:

Using a large pot, boil water with a pinch of salt. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain (rinse if using gluten-free pasta) and return to the pot.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and let cook until soft. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat.

In a blender, add in onion, garlic, tofu, water, lemon juice, and salt. Blend on high for about two minutes until very smooth.

....After Blending

Add sauce to pasta and toss to coat. Season with salt and  pepper. Let pasta sit for about 5 minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly. Top with shiitake bacon, parsley, vegan Parmesan topping, if using, and serve.  
Pasta Carbonara - Vegan Cream Sauce - Blog Veega
Allow Pasta to Sit to Soak in Sauce!

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