Sun Dried Tomato Carbonara

Happy April! Also Happy Easter and belated Passover to all those who celebrate/celebrated! There are so many celebrations today. I took last week off to enjoy Passover with my family and give myself a chance to relax a bit. But I am back and I have lots of good content that I will be posting in the coming days.

My last announcement is that I sent out my April newsletter this morning so I hope you checked that out if you are subscribed! You can always sign up for my future newsletters by clicking the link here –> subscribe here. Now, let’s get to the good stuff.

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Pasta carbonara. For those who don’t know, it is a simple dish of noodles, cured pork, cheese and egg. It might sound like a weird combination but the cheese and egg come together to create an ultra creamy sauce that coats the noodles perfectly. While I’ve never eaten classic carbonara, due to dietary restrictions, I was excited to try this version today.

This recipe comes from the vegan cookbook Thug Kitchen 101, so this carbonara has no pork, no egg and no cheese. The recipe has interesting substitutions to try and give the same feeling of the classic dish, but in a fully plant-based way.

In place of the cured pork, this recipe uses sundried tomatoes. I was supposed to use the ones that come dry in a package but I could only find them packed in oil. Because of change, the tomatoes didn’t really get crispy when cooking, so their texture was quite chewy. I still enjoyed their flavour in the dish since they were seasoned with liquid smoke and soy sauce (and a few other ingredients). There was a nice salty and smoky balance, similar to what the pork would have offered.

The sauce in this recipe is made with starchy pasta water, cornstarch and nutritional yeast. It has a slight cheesy flavour which I love and I was surprised how creamy it got. I use the pasta cooking water in so many other recipes because it really helps to create a luscious sauce.

The last component to this pasta was the crispy panko bread crumbs. They are toasted in a skillet and seasoned with garlic powder and paprika. They are nicely flavoured and give a good boost of crunch.

I have no complaints about this dish. Every bite was so delicious with the pasta, the smoky sun dried tomato, the creamy sauce and the crispy panko. It was well balanced in flavours and textures. This was quite the creative vegan spin on a classic pasta dish. This is the perfect meal for meatless Monday.

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