Before I turned vegan I did not really know spaghetti carbonara. I only became acquainted with the dish when I discovered The Vegan Corner, a charming blog that posted a vegan version of it. Later on, I learned that the original dish contained bacon and egg yolks.
I have to admit it took a while until it occurred to me to create my own recipe.
“Come on Sara,” I urged myself, “you are a big girl – you too can develop your own vegan version of this delicious and decadent dish!”
It required some experiments: egg yolk sauce alone, like the one in the shakshuka recipe – yielded a greasy dish. However, with the addition of zucchini (known for their creamy feature), I got a delicate, velvety cream sauce in which the zucchini work gently behind the scenes.
Before you panic – I assure you it is not as complicated as it seems!!!
We start by frying zucchini dice.
We continue with cooking light green zucchini and carrots.
Measure 1/3 cup of vegan Egg Yolk Sauce (recipe is included) and combine it with the carrot and zucchini in a blender. Save the rest of the egg yolk sauce for serving and other recipes.
transfer the cooked spaghetti to a wok in which we cooked the zucchini and the carrot. Next, we add the yolk cream we have just made and cook it for a few minutes.
Next, add half the amount of zucchini and bacon and cook for another minute or two:
.For serving: place spaghetti on a pasta plate; Using two spoons, make a hole in the center of the dish, and place a vegan yolk gently (optional but recommended!)
Add the rest of the bacon and zucchini; more of the yolk sauce, sprinkle plenty of vegan parmesan, and a generous amount of black pepper. For a refreshing twist, you can also sprinkle coarsely chopped roquette.
Buon Appetito ❤️
I highly recommend watching the videos of Nona Gina – a stunning Italian grandmother who teaches in graceful English/Italian how to make Italian recipes. Not vegan though – but very traditional and authentic – to see her cook and sing – warms the heart!
- 500 grams Spaghetti
- 1 zucchini do not peel
- 150 grams vegan bacon recipe below
- 1 light green zucchini peeled and finely sliced
- 1 medium carrot finely sliced
- ⅛ cup water
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- salt, black pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup vegan yolk sauce recipe below
- ¼ tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water from the cooked pasta
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp cornstarch or sodium alginate** – see notes
- ⅛ tsp paprika
- ⅛ tsp turmeric
- ⅓ cup vegan butter
- ⅓ cup un-sweetened plant based milk
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼-½ tsp annatto oil optional
- ¼ tsp black salt kala namak
- 150 grams tofu
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- half the zucchini quantity
- half the bacon quantity
- vegan yolk optional
- yolk sauce see recipe
- black pepper
- vegan parmesan
- fresh roquette optional
- Heat a little olive oil in a pan or wok and fry the zucchini until golden; Season with salt and black pepper; Set aside
- Dry the tofu with a paper towel. Cut into 1 cm dice.
- Mix all the marinade ingredients well. Transfer to an airtight storage container
- Add the tofu dice, shake or invert the container occasionally. It is recommended to soak overnight in the fridge to absorb flavors – or at least for an hour
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.Line a baking tray with baking paper – put the tofu dice, sprinkle more of the marinade over the tofu dice.Bake for about 20 minutes, until nicely browned and slightly crispy, check after 10 minutes to make sure it does not burn, and give it a stir so it bakes evenly.When ready – remove from oven and cool for about five minutes – to let it becomes fully crispy.
Vegan Yolk Cream
- Add minced garlic to the wok in which the dark green zucchini was fried and stir for a few seconds; Add the light green zucchini and carrot slices and fry for a minute or two. Add the water, cover, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables soften; Add more water, gradually if necessary. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the manufacturer's instructions. Strain over a large bowl (keep the cooking water!)
- Measure 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside. (keep the rest of the pasta water – we will need it soon).
- Return the hot pasta water to the pot – place the strainer with the pasta on top – in such a way they will not touch the water – and cover with a lid to keep it warm.
- Transfer the zucchini and carrot slices to a blender, add the yolk sauce, vinegar; add pasta water gradually, until you get the desired thickness
- Transfer the cooked spaghetti to a wok, add the egg yolk cream, and cook while stirring for a few minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Add half of both the zucchini and the bacon dice, Stir and remove from heat.
- In a small bowl, mix nutritional yeast, sodium alginate, paprika, and turmeric. In a separate cup mix the milk and water.
- In a small saucepan melt the vegan butter over low heat. Add the dry mixture (without black salt) and stir until smooth.
- Mix in the milk and water. Increase to medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce bubbles slightly and thickens – the yellow color of the yolk will develop while cooking.
- Remove from heat. At this point, you can add the black salt, and annatto oil (optional) to deepen the color – add gradually until you get the desired hue.
- Divide the pasta into plates (preferably pasta plates). Using 2 tablespoons, make a small dimple in the center of the plate. Carefully place an Egg Yolk (optional); Add the rest of the zucchini and the bacon dice, add more yolk sauce if desired, sprinkle vegan parmesan, ground black pepper, and roquette.
- If you plan to make Vegan Yolks, replace cornstarch with Sodium Alginate.
- It is possible to make in advance the yolk sauce and the bacon dice. Prior to serving slightly heat the bacon cubes in the oven to restore the crispness.
- For better results, it is recommended to soak the tofu in the marinade – a day or a night before baking – the longer the better.
- Please consider making a double quantity of the tofu bacon for other recipes and sandwiches 🙂
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