Today’s delicious recipe comes to you from one of my favorite chefs, Chloe Cascarelli.  I cannot take credit for creating this wonderful recipe, but I can tell you I made it last night and it exceeded all my expectations.  I even have a picture (with terrible lighting) to prove it!

You can use any noodles you’d like for this dish – zoodles (zucchini noodles), brown rice pasta (which is what we used), whole wheat, quinoa…the list goes on.  So, don’t let the “pasta” word scare you.  The sauce is so yummy, easy to make, high in plant-powered protein, and light.  You won’t leave the table feeling like you have a brick of butter hanging out in your stomach.

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PASTA CARBONARA WITH SHIITAKE BACON

Recipe by Chloe Coscarelli

SERVINGS: 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

  • SHIITAKE BACON
    • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced (about ¼ inch thick)
    • 1/4 cup olive oil*
    • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • PASTA CARBONARA
    • 1 pound long pasta (spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine or or gluten-free pasta)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil*
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 14 ounces soft tofu (I used Nasoya Organic Non GMO Silken Tofu)
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice*
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish
  • PARMESAN TOPPING (OPTIONAL)
    • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
    • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon maple syrup

 

PREPARATION

  • For the Shiitake Bacon: Preheat the oven to 375°F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms with oil, salt and pepper. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning frequently with a spatula, until lightly browned and crisp.
  • For the Pasta Carbonara: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and let cook until soft. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes. Remove from heat. In a blender, combine onion, garlic, tofu, water, lemon juice, and salt. Process on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add sauce to pasta and toss to coat. Season with pepper and add more salt to taste. Let pasta sit for about 5 minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly. Top with Shiitake Bacon and parsley and serve.
  • For the Parmesan Topping (optional): In a food processor, combine almonds, nutritional yeast, and salt, and process until a fine meal forms. Drizzle in maple syrup, and pulse until incorporated. Top pasta with Parmesan topping if using. Note: Use this as a topping on pastas and pizzas, just as you would with Parmesan cheese. Store in the freezer up to 6 months and use as desired.

 

Recipe reprinted from “Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen: 150 Pizzas, Pastas, Pestos, Risottos, & Lots of Creamy Italian Classics.”

 

Notes (from Jentry)

  • For the shiitake bacon, I only added 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, instead of ¼ cup. And, when sautéing the onion for the carbonara sauce I didn’t use any olive oil.  Instead I used a splash of vegetable broth and it was perfect!
  • Make sure you don’t skip the fresh lemon juice in the carbonara sauce. This gives the sauce a bright flavor and transforms it completely.  Trust me, I was shy on it at first, then added the right amount and it made a huge difference.
  • If you don’t have blanched almonds for the Parmesan topping, try chilled, raw, unsalted cashews instead. They may not have the exact same texture, but they’ll work wonderfully.

 

Cheers!

Coach Jentry

 

Gumsaba Outdoor Fitness Class schedule Saturday 1/23/16

8:30 AM Saturday Co-Ed Boot Camp – Coach Jentry – Met Con Saturday!