Let’s start by making a statement: I am Italian, and there is nothing I love more than a good old plate of pasta. This was probably one of the very few meaty dishes I enjoyed in the past, probably because of the explosion of different tastes of this savoury dish.
I’ve seen this traditional recipe being violated all over the world. Just to specify, once again, carbonara has NOT any type of cream in its original form. Fair enough, I got very used to it meanwhile, because here in Switzerland you’ll encounter a fair bunch of restaurants that claim to be Italian, but as soon as your plate of spaghetti drowning in dairy comes, you’ll figure they’re not.
That said, when I was experimenting for a meat, egg and dairy free version of the classic spaghetti carbonara, I decided to merge the traditional with the no no versions and came out with a delicious plate of spaghetti that I thought it may be worth sharing.
Serves 1-2 Persons
Time: 20-30 minutes
6 big shiitake mushrooms, cubed
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 tablespoon of tamari
150g of spaghetti
For the sauce
2 tablespoons of white miso paste
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 heaping tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1/4 cup of non dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy milk)
Optional: you can add a pinch of black salt to give it an eggy flavour, I prefer not to.
While heating up a pot with water, let marinate the cubed shiitake in the tamari and paprika mixture. I usually let it sit for about 10 minutes. The longer you leave it, the saltier the mushrooms will get.
Start heating up a small pan for your mushrooms. While those babies are marinating, prepare the sauce, which is a piece of cake. Just wisk all the ingredients together in a bowl, maybe adjust in taste with salt if you desire. Since the shiitake will be pretty salty themselves I don’t do that.
Cook the pasta according to the package. Meanwhile, sautee the mushrooms in oil until cooked, about 10 minutes. Add some more smoked paprika at the end if you wish. Set aside after cooking.
Your spaghetti should be cooked by now, put them back in the pot, add the mushrooms and the sauce, and toss everything together for about 3 minutes to merge all the flavours. By doing this in the still warm pot, the sauce should thicken just a little. By doing this on the stove, you’ll risk to rather have a dry dish, and believe me, you don’t want that. Let it be saucy!
Carbonara is not carbonara without the final dash of black pepper. Add as much as you like.
I hope you’ll try out this recipe. It’s delicious with a slight cheesy hint and I’m sure you gonna love it, no matter if you’re a fan of the traditional way or all the others.