How about a wholesome dish that is quick and simple to make and is the ultimate comfort food (next to chocolate?!). Then try this tagliatelle squash carbonara recipe!
This recipe seems decadently creamy, but it is actually healthy and easy on the waistline. It is deliciously savoury, low in carbs, gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free, so suitable for the health conscious, those watching their weight, coeliacs and vegans. I actually prefer it to conventional carbonara as it is much lighter on the belly yet hits the same umami-notes with the accompanying comforting creaminess. It is also a great way of incorporating more veggies into your diet!
Instead of conventional pasta, I have used squash ribbons, which you can make using a spiraliser or Vegi bullet, but these are also readily available in the supermarkets now. Alternatively, you could always improvise by making squash shavings with a vegetable peeler or use a combination of conventional tagliatelle pasta and veggie ribbons. This recipe also works well with courgette and sweet potato ribbons.
This recipe is plant-based by virtue of using tofu and cashew cream as the sauce base, with savouriness provided by wholegrain mustard and nutritional yeast. If you are not vegan, you could always use parmesan instead. This dish can be served as a main course or starter and keeps well in the fridge for a few days too.
Serves: 4 as a main meal or 8 as a starter
Preparation time: 15 mins (allowing for 4 hrs+ soaking time for the raw cashews)
Cooking time: 15-20 mins
- 150g raw cashews
- 180ml cold water
- 200g soft tofu, diced
- 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast/ vegan parmesan/ parmesan
- 3 tsp. wholegrain mustard
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Sea salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional: 2 tbsp. protein powder (pea, soya bean or whey).
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil or water if preferred.
- 3 plump garlic cloves, crushed
- 500g of squash ribbons (or sweet potato or courgette ribbons or noodles or tagliatelle)
- 250g edamame beans, fresh or frozen (if latter, defrosted)
- 250g button mushrooms, sliced
- Optional: 3 rashers of vegan bacon, diced.
- To decorate: basil and a dash of extra virgin olive oil
- In a small bowl, immerse the raw cashews in cold water and soak for at least 4hrs.
- Drain the (now swollen) cashews and pop in the blender along with 180ml fresh cold water and the remaining sauce ingredients. Blend to form a creamy thick sauce. Season to taste.
- In a deep-bottomed non-stick pan or wok, on a medium heat, add the coconut oil to melt or water if you wish to dry sauté. Add the crushed garlic and pan-fry for about 2 mins.
- Add the diced vegan bacon (if using) and then the squash ribbons (or alternative veggie noodles) and continue to cook for 4 mins until the ribbons begin to soften.
- Add the edamame beans and sliced mushrooms. Continue pan-frying for 4 mins and then add the sauce. Continue to cook the vegetables and heat through the sauce for another 4-5 mins. If the sauce is a little thick, add a tablespoon more of water or almond milk.
- Serve with a sprig of basil and a dash of extra virgin olive oil. I love to serve this with a crisp green salad.