Last night I was trying to figure out how what to make for dinner and I came up with a little something I'd like to call Vegan Carbonara A' La Catherine. Yes, I appreciate I'm going both Italian and French with that name, but stick with me because it's worth it.
OK, so I had some fairly specific criteria for our dinner: it had to be fast,with food we already had on hand and I was craving something comfortable and creamy (because it'd been just one of those days). With a little vegan cooking know-how and a little online scouting and combining of ideas here is the best weeknight "pasta carbonara" that won't kill your waistline (recipe to the best of my recollection):
2 cups of penne pasta
2/3 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen broccoli (or fresh, you know if you have it)
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 cup of unsalted cashews
2 teaspoons Smoked paprika
1/2-1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/3 cup of nutritional yeast
Put water on the stove and cook pasta per directions. Add broccoli at the end to cook as well.
Put cashews and 1-1.5 cups of water in a Vitamix and blend until you have cashew cream.
In a large sauce pan on the stove over medium heat add olive oil, onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent. Add cashew cream to the onion and garlic and stir. Add frozen peas and cook for approximately 5 minutes, stirring the whole time. Add cayenne, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper adjusting amounts to taste. If your sauce is too thick, just add a little water.
Drain the pasta and broccoli and add to the sauce mix. Toss all together and serve with a little parsley on top.
**Something I think would be a great addition is smoked tofu or fake bacon! But ours has gone past it's prime so after a bit of debating I tossed it. Don't over-do smoked tofu, but the texture/change might be a great addition!
(image: Lemons and Lace - my recipe is better)