Spaghetti carbonara recipe

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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


For Smoky Tofu Bits
  • 4 oz (110 g) firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
For Spaghetti Carbonara
  • 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
How to Make It
    For Smoky Tofu Bits
  1. 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.
  2. For Spaghetti Carbonara
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Plate the spaghetti carbonara, add the smoky tofu bits on top, and sprinkle with cracked black pepper and chopped parsley.

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