The best things about carbonara are:
- The sweet caramelised onion and garlic
- The meaty texture and umami of the bacon
- The creamy richness of the cream and egg
So how to recreate this with a vegan diet? Surprisingly easily. I saw a recipe for white bean alfredo elsewhere, so riffed on that - caramelised mushroom slices are amazingly delicious and great “meaty bits” substitute, and the white beans when pureed go surprisingly creamy. Add tonnes of garlic, salt, pepper and onion, and you’re absolutely set.
This recipe serves two people, or one very hungry person.
- Olive oil
- 150gm mushrooms - I used a mix of swiss brown and field mushrooms - sliced
- 1 medium brown onion, finely diced
- 1 can of cannelini beans, drained & thoroughly rinsed
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic (the jarred minced garlic is already pretty sweet and mellow - I find it perfect to add in huge quantities to things like this.
- Vegan stock
Savoury yeast flakes (optional)
- Salt & pepper
- Fresh parsley (garnish)
- Frying pan
- Fry the onions and mushrooms in olive oil on medium heat until caramelised. This may take a little while (20ish minutes), but is so worth it.
- Blend the cannelini beans with the garlic and a splash of stock. I usually put in about half a teaspoon of Massel powdered stock and a dash of hot water.
- Pour the bean mix into the pan with the mushrooms. Mix well and simmer lightly for about 5 minutes, until it thickens up. Add salt, pepper and yeast flakes to taste.
- Mixed thoroughly with your cooked pasta and garnish with lots of fresh parsley.