Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pasta Alfredo/Carbonara Mash-Up

I'm baack! Yes, it's insanely busy around here, but people still need to eat, right? The weather has turned sort of weird, wild and windy in the past day or so, and it occurred to me that pasta would be just the thing. My carbcentric fantasy centered around a sauce that would combine the best elements of both alfredo and carbonara: creaminess, smokiness and (dare I say it?)"bacon"-ness. So last night, on the heels of a really long day, I decided to take a break from my current pile of reading and give it a go. The result was not only delicious, but fast and easy, too; the perfect meal to eat curled up in front of the TV in your pajamas at 7pm, while looking forward to an early bedtime (oh, the glamour)!


~1 pkg. tempeh, cut into small dice
~1 cup vegetable broth
~1 tbsp. maple syrup
~1 tsp. each: black (or regular kosher) salt, paprika, liquid smoke (or smoked paprika)

~In a bowl or beaker, combine all the liquid ingredients, add the tempeh, and microwave (or heat in a pot) until almost boiling, about 2 minutes. Cover and set aside to marinate at least one hour.
~Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
~Drain the tempeh (reserving the marinade), spread it evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, shuffling it around occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn.
~Remove from oven and set aside.


~2 tbsp. olive oil
~1 tbsp. minced garlic
~1/4 cup flour
~Reserved tempeh marinade
~1 tbsp. chopped chives (optional, I had them in the cupboard)
~1 tsp. salt
~1/8 tsp. nutmeg
~Fresh black pepper
~2 cups unsweetened plain soy (or other non-dairy) milk
~2-4 tbsp. vegan parmesan and/or nutritional yeast
~1/2 cup frozen peas

~In a saucepan, heat the oil over a low flame; add the garlic and saute for about two minutes.
~Add the flour and reserved marinade gradually, stirring constantly to make a roux.
~Gradually add the soy milk, stirring continually, for about five minutes.
~Add the vegan parmesan and/or nooch and continue stirring until the sauce reaches a cream sauce consistency.
~Stir in the frozen peas, cook another minute or two, and remove from heat.

~1 lb. pasta, cooked and drained according to package directions (I used these cute little shell thingies in the photo).

~In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, sauce and tempeh bacon. Mix thoroughly and serve hot, sprinkled with a little parsley if you have some on hand. We had ours with a side of beautiful roasted local zucchini and carrots, and a bottle of cold white wine. Yum.


  1. Oooh that looks perfectly creamy and wonderful.

  2. I saw the marinating tempeh sitting on the counter and wondered what it was for. The baconicity was quite extraordinary, and the whole thing was fantastic. This would be great with *any* kind of interesting pasta (Desdemona used rice pasta shells, which were great).