Classic carbonara sauce contains egg yolks, hard cheese (typically Parmesan or Reggiano), meat (bacon or pancetta), garlic & olive oil. This plant-based version has the indulgence you want with ingredients you can feel good about. This recipe features a creamy cashew-based sauce with delicate garlic undertones. The soy curl “bacon” is the perfect balance of salty, sweet and smoky. Not only do soy curls soak up flavour like nobody’s business but they also have a texturized, meat-like appearance and turn dark and crispy when pan-fried.
Soy Curl “Bacon” Marinade
- One 8oz/227g package of Butler’s Soy Curls, rehydrated (see Recipe Notes)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup light-bodied oil (eg avocado or grapeseed)
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp tamari sauce + extra
- 1 tsp liquid smoke+ extra
- 1 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp fresh parsley
- 1 Tbsp vegan butter
- 1 cup soy milk
- One batch Savoury Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
- Himalayan pink salt
This & That
- 1lb dry pasta of choice
1/Rehydrate soy curls (see Recipe Notes)
2/Prepare Soy Curl Bacon Marinade:
-Whisk together all ingredients (garlic through chili sauce) until well combined.
-Transfer marinade to a shallow dish. Add rehydrated soy curls to the dish. Marinade soy curls in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours (or overnight if time allows).
3/Prepare one batch Savoury Parmesan Cheese (see Recipe Notes)
4/Cook pasta of choice; be sure to reserve the cooking water.
1/Prepare cream sauce:
-Add butter to a skillet on medium-low heat. Toss in minced garlic and chopped parsley. Sauté until fragrant.
-Adjust heat to medium-high heat. Add soy milk, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, reserved cooking water (from pasta) and pinch of salt to the skillet. Stir, continuously, until well combined.
-Using an immersion blender (or similar) blend the mixture until your sauce reaches the desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.
2/Pan-fry soy curls:
-Add a few glugs of olive oil to a skillet on medium-high heat.
Tip: Add a few additional drops of tamari sauce and liquid smoke to the skillet before frying for bolder flavour!
-Pan-fry the marinated soy curls until brown and crispy (the darker the better!)
Plate your cooked pasta. Pour cream sauce over pasta and top with “bacon” soy curls. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese. Devour!
(1) How to rehydrate soy curls:
-Place soy curls (8oz/227g) in large bowl. Add enough hot water (not boiled) to completely cover the curls. Let soak for 10 minutes.
-Drain soy curls and rinse in cold water. Using the underside of a spoon, press gently on the soy curls to release any excess water.
Note: Each 8oz bag Butler’s Soy Curls yields 1.5 lb soy curls when hydrated.
(2) How to make Savoury Parmesan Cheese:
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 2 tsp hemp seeds, raw and unshelled
- 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp lemon juice
1/Using a food processor or high-powered blender pulse together the cashews, hemp seeds, salt and garlic powder.
2/Add lemon juice. Pulse the mixture for a few seconds until the mixture just starts to combine
Tip: Don’t overprocess– the cheese should be granular and not a paste!