Recipe by Vegan Recipes and Vibes (@veganrecipesandvibes)
Yield: 8 servings | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 25 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes
This is like if Carbonara and Alfredo sauce had a vegan baby with less calories. Carbonara is traditionally made with egg yolks, pancetta, parmesan, and sometimes peas, while Alfredo sauce is typically a heavy cream-and-cheese-based sauce. This combines the creaminess of Alfredo sauce with the meaty flavors of Carbonara sauce to get a rich, decadent dish. Topped with tempeh bacon crumbles, this pasta is bursting with warm comfort-food flavors that you won't want to miss out on!
1 box of penne pasta (about 16 oz)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups unsweetened nut milk (I used almond)
4 tbsp vegan cream cheese
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1 ½ tbsp cornstarch (mixed with 3 tbsp water to make a slurry)
1 cup frozen peas (defrosted)
Tiny pinch of kala namak (black salt) (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
Tempeh "bacon" for topping
Tempeh "Bacon" Ingredients:
8 oz tempeh
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp liquid smoke
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
4 tbsp neutral-flavored oil
Start by marinating your tempeh bacon.
Break up the tempeh into small crumbles and place in a bowl.
Add all the bacon ingredients to the bowl, mix until the tempeh is evenly coated, then let it sit for at least 15 minutes.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Once the tempeh is done marinating, cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes, or until the tempeh is dark brown and slightly crispy.
Separately, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
Meanwhile, make the sauce.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil on low.
Add the flour and cook for a few seconds to create a rue.
Slowly add the milk to the pan, whisking constantly so lumps don’t form.
Immediately add the cream cheese and seasonings to the pan.
Bring the sauce to a low boil, stirring occasionally.
As soon as it starts to boil, gently fold in the peas and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the cornstarch slurry, stirring constantly so it doesn't clump.
Simmer for another few minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.
Optional: add a tiny pinch of kala namak to give this a slightly eggy flavor to mimic traditional Carbonara sauce.
Remove from heat, and mix in the cooked penne.
Serve and top with tempeh bacon crumbles!
Tips and Tricks:
To make this more like a traditional Carbonara sauce, try adding a tiny pinch of kala namak (black salt) to the sauce. This gives it a slightly eggy flavor that mimics the raw egg yolks normally used in the sauce. You can usually find kala namak at specialty food stores or on Amazon.
This recipe makes extra tempeh "bacon" crumbles. You can use the extra on salads, wraps, other pasta dishes, or really pile it high on your carbonara.
Store the pasta and tempeh in separate air-tight containers in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Nutrition & Servings: (calculated by MyFitnessPal)
Creamy Carbonara Pasta:
Total Fat: 10g
Servings: 10 (3 tbsp each)
Total Fat: 15g
^ Nutrition facts include the ingredients listed above. Nutrition facts may change slightly if different quantities of ingredients are used or added.