Smoked Tofu adds a delicious depth of flavour to this vegan interpretation of a classic Italian comfort food. You won't believe there's no cheese, cream, egg or bacon in this deliciously satisfying, spoon-licking dish.
MAKES: 4 main meal servings
PREPARATION/COOKING TIME: 30 minutes
(not including pre-soaking cashews)
1 Pack of Earth Source Foods Smoked Tofu
500gms pack penne pasta (or pasta of choice)
1½ Cups raw cashews
2 Tblspns fortified savoury yeast (not bakers yeast)
4 Tblspns cider vinegar
2 Heaped tblspns vegetable stock powder
1 Heaped tblspn dijon mustard, plus a crack of black pepper
1 Clove garlic, crushed (or more to taste)
1½ Cups peas (fresh or frozen)
½ Cup water, plus extra water to pre-soak cashews
Olive oil for frying
Pre-soak the cashews in enough water to cover for a few hours, or a minimum of an hour. Warm water will assist a faster soaking process.
In a large saucepan, put 2-3 litres of water on to boil for cooking pasta (water quantity to packet directions).
To make the 'creamy carbonara' sauce, drain pre-soaked cashews and place in a bullet blender or food processor with ½ cup water, vinegar, savoury yeast flakes, stock powder, dijon mustard and the crushed garlic. Whizz until as smooth as possible. SIDE NOTE: Try not to eat all this 'creamy' carbonara sauce puree there and then – this stuff is delicious and can also be used on nachos, toasties or anything that would normally have cheese. Even great just as a dip with chips or veggie sticks.
Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to instructions on the packet (cooking time will vary according to pasta type purchased).
Cut tofu into thin strips or small cubes. In a saucepan heat some oil, add tofu pieces and fry till golden. Then add the peas and stir through until hot, then add in all the 'creamy carbonara' sauce and stir through. This doesn't actually need to be further cooked, just warmed through. Add a few tablespoons of water from the cooking pasta if the sauce is too thick.
Drain the cooked pasta and stir through the carbonara sauce mix. Add a crack of freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.
If you want to make 'fake' parmesan cheese topping, simply whizz or stir salt with some more of the savoury yeast flakes and sprinkle on top. Taste of this dish is amazing and would probably even fool dairy eaters!
Enjoy the smoked tofu carbonara on its own or with warm crusty bread and a green side salad for a big hearty meal.
Substitute peas for sliced mushrooms to add an extra earthy favour – or a handful of slices in addition to peas!
GF: Substitute standard pasta for gluten-free pasta.
FODMAP: Omit garlic.