Vegan Carbonara

Posted by on Sep 13, 2013 in Cooking | 1 comment

Finally, the spaghetti squash are ready!  It took a fairly long time for the vine to grow and start producing fruit, then the fruit was tiny for a really long time, but then one day I looked down and the tiny zucchini-like early fruits had more than quadrupled in size.  It seemed like it happened overnight, but maybe that’s because the leaves were blocking my view.  The leaves are huge, like the size of my head.  Squash is an amazing plant.  It creeps along by throwing out tiny coiled vines and tightening them around anything nearby.  The leaves stand about a foot high on firm stalks and move throughout the day to get the most sun.

I would almost feel bad harvesting the squash, except the vine begins to die about the time the squash is ready.  So we have about 5 large squash in the end, which isn’t a bad harvest at all, especially for our first attempt at growing squash.  Unfortunately, our cantaloupe never quite fruited, having been basically eaten by the squash, so I guess we’ll have to try again next year.  One vine fruit at a time, maybe?

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This will be the first of a few spaghetti squash recipes, since I still have 3 more squash to cook.  (We gave one away to a neighbor).  Spaghetti squash is a bit more tricky to use than other types of squash because of the way it “strings”.  While different winter squashes taste a little bit different, most of them are orange, sweet, and largely interchangeable in recipes.  I wouldn’t think twice before using kobucha, butternut, or acorn squash instead of pumpkin in baked goods.  On the other hand, spaghetti squash pancakes would be a little odd.  And I can’t really see cubing it and putting it in a stew.  (Although, if you have tried and it works, I’m open to changing my mind!)  Mostly it is used in the same way as pasta.

So I have a few plans for my spaghetti squash.  I’ll probably do some sort of cheesy spaghetti squash “muffin”.  I also plan on some roasted spaghetti squash seeds.  Unfortunately the first spaghetti squash was prepared by my mom and she didn’t know to keep the seeds for me.  Yes, you can roast any squash seed (and evidently also the seeds of many melons), not just pumpkin.

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But for today, I was inspired by my newfound love of coconut bacon to make a vegan version of carbonara.  Creamy cheesy sauce!  Tiny sweet peas!  Bacon!  What could possibly be bad?  Apparently using coconut bacon.  *sigh*  It softens up when it touches the sauce leaving your carbonara full of coconut.  Sweet-salty coconut, but still, not a texture you want in your pasta.   So if you make the sauce and want a vegan carbonara with bacon, I would use tempeh bacon or even shiitake bacon instead, because if they soften up it still won’t have an off-putting texture.  Oh well, you live and you learn.

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The sauce is adapted from the alfredo sauce in Artisan Vegan Cheese.  I used pine nuts in addition to the cashews because of their slightly egg-y taste.  I also used a bit of coconut milk for richness.  I think it turned out quite well.

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I also had time today to get a donut pan!  Yay!  I waffled between Fork and Beans’ Peanut Butter Cup Donuts and Edible Perspective’s Maple Sea Salt Dounuts, but Mr. DIY clearly indicated to me that it had to be the maple donuts.  They were good.  They would have been better if I had powdered donuts for the glaze.  I tried the trick of grinding regular sugar in my food processor, but it didn’t work.  AT ALL.  What is wrong with my food processor?  I also used Ener-G egg substitute instead of making Edible Perspective’s vegan version, because it used flax seed as the egg substitute and I hate flax in my sweets.  This might have made them fall a tiny bit flat.  I still totally plan on getting her book, of course, because none of this failure was her fault, and the donuts were completely delicious.

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Vegan Carbonara Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten-Free
Cuisine: Italian
Ingredients
  • ¾ c cashews
  • ¾ c pine nuts
  • ½ c coconut milk
  • 2½ -3 c water
  • ⅓ c white wine
  • ⅓ -1/2 c nutritional yeast
Instructions
  1. Blend cashews and pine nuts until small, add 11/2 c water and coconut milk, blend until smooth. Pour into pot. Add 1 c more water and wine. Bring to simmer, add nooch, simmer untill thickened about 5 min. Add more water if needed to thin.
Notes
Makes enough for about 1 lb of pasta.
Adapted from Artisan Vegan Cheese

 

 

One Comment

  1. I’m down for any kind of cheesy vegan dish, and this looks yummy!

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