Tonight I decided to make myself a quick zucchini carbonara for dinner, to use up my farmer's market haul from last week. Sadly, my patty pan squash plant really didn't do much in the garden this year. When I got home from work, I realized we had no eggs. Damn! I almost walked to the corner store to get some but then I stopped myself.......surely there would be a vegan alternative recipe I could use? As always, Google was my friend and I found a blog with a Creamy Carbonara Pasta recipe. I didn't have any shitake mushrooms or hemp hearts, so I simplified it a bit and came up with this:
Vegan Zucchini "Carbonara"
2 medium zucchinis (yellow or green)
2 smallish red onions
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tsp arrowroot flour
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
3/4 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste
3/4 cup almond/coconut milk blend
227 g GoGoQuinoa penne pasta
I sliced the zucchini roughly, peeled and quartered the onions, but left the garlic cloves in their skins. I combined the veggies in a roasting pan with the olive oil and mixed everything around, then put it in a 400 F oven for about 30 minutes, until soft and slightly golden.
I removed the veggies from the oven, put the garlic aside, and spooned the rest into the blender. I squeezed the garlic out of it's skins and added it to the blender, along with the nutritional yeast, arrowroot flour, vinegar, salt, and milk. I let the blender run on high for a couple of minutes, until smooth. Then I poured half the contents into a small pot, and put it over a medium heat to thicken. The other half went into a container to be frozen for another night's meal.
I wanted to stay gluten-free this evening, so I boiled a pot of water, salted it, and added the amaranth/rice noodles. When they were al dente, I drained them, reserving a bit of the water, and added the sauce. I dished it out into my bowl and sprinkled it with some fresh parsley from the garden and a bit more black pepper.
Oh wow, this was amazing! So creamy and smooth, you'd never know there wasn't any dairy in it. The yeast really does give it a cheesy flavour, too. It reminded me a bit of the vegan mac 'n cheese I've made before using cashews, onions & red peppers, but the parsley was such a nice finishing touch. It just gave it that freshness it needed and complemented the slightly greenish colour of the sauce. I hope the it freezes well.......I don't see why it wouldn't. :)