They say you shouldn’t put any cream or milk in your carbonara, and we agree, but nobody said anything about plant-based milk. (Actually, we’re sure that many people have said exactly that—many times.) By using smoky tofu bits as the main meat alternative and creating a sauce from silken tofu flavored with nutritional yeast (for a cheesy component) and kala namak (for an eggy flavor) we tried a risky take on spaghetti carbonara, and it worked. To hell with authenticity, it’s delicious!
- Yield: 2 Servings
- Total Time: 30 Minutes
- 4 oz (110 g) firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- ¼ teaspoon paprika powder
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- 8 oz (250 g) silken tofu
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1½ teaspoons kala namak (Himalayan black salt)
- 1 dash curry powder
- 1 lime juice
- ½ cup (125 ml) unsweetened plant-based milk (e.g., rice milk)
- ¼ teaspoon salt + more to taste
- Cooked spaghetti for 2 (save the cooking water to thin out the sauce)
- cracked black pepper
- 1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
For Smoky Tofu Bits
- Cut the tofu into small bits. Add the canola oil to a large pan and heat to medium. Add in the tofu, then the paprika powder, liquid smoke, and soy sauce. Give it a quick stir and close the pan with a lid. Stir the tofu around every couple of minutes. Fry the tofu until crispy on all sides for 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the tofu bits onto paper towels to remove excess oil and set aside. For Spaghetti Carbonara
- Put the silken tofu, nutritional yeast, kala namak, curry powder, lime juice, plant-based milk, and salt in a blender and blend until completely smooth. You might have to scrape down the sides.
- Place the drained spaghetti in a large pot and add in the carbonara sauce. Heat until warm and use the cooking water from the pasta to thin out the sauce until it has reached a consistency to your liking.
- Plate the spaghetti carbonara, add the smoky tofu bits on top, and sprinkle with cracked black pepper and chopped parsley.