Vegan Spaghetti alla Carbonara

by Brian Patton

No pasta recipe arsenal is complete without a rich and delicious carbonara. Usually made with egg yolks, we're going to use some vegan magic to get a beautifully creamy sauce for this Italian classic.

Serves 4

12 ounces spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 ounces vegan bacon, chopped
1 cup aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas or white beans)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder or corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon black salt aka kala namak (optional)
1/4 cup vegan parmesan, plus more for garnish

Freshly cracked black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente 7 to 8 minutes.

While the pasta cooks, in a wide skillet, heat olive oil on medium-low heat, and add garlic and bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is slightly browned around the edges and bacon is browned, 5 to 6 minutes.

While the garlic and bacon cook, into a small food processor, add the aquafaba, nutritional yeast, arrowroot, salt, turmeric, and black salt. Blend until thickened and opaque, 20 to 30 seconds.

When the pasta is done cooking, scoop out ¼ cup of the pasta water and set it aside. Drain the pasta, and add it directly to the pan. Immediately stir in the aquafaba mixture, increase the heat to medium, and cook 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce reduces slightly.

Stir in the parmesan and the pasta water, and season with salt to taste.

Plate and garnish with additional parmesan and coarsely cracked pepper.