I am ashamed to say that I only discovered the Easy Vegan (or Jules as he is most usually known) about a month or two ago, and I have been hooked ever since. He has some great recipes and shows you how to cook them in an easy, quick and simple way. He is also hilarious, and his videos are entertaining to watch even if you have no intention of trying all of his recipes.
Personally, I have been trying to cook more plant based meals, and not to rely too heavily anymore on pre-packaged or processed foods. As you can tell from my post history, I am not vegan for my health (at least not predominantly) but one of my New Years Resolutions was to learn how to cook at least four or five proper vegan meals, from scratch.
So I tried his Carbonara. The recipe can be found here along with the list of ingredients. The only thing I could not find (and I have checked multiple food stores near where I live) is liquid smoke, which would have made the dish smokey and bacon-y. As his recipe title suggests.
I added some vegan cheese on top…I am still working on presentation.
When I first made it, the lack of smokey-ness definitely affected the meal. It was still a really nice pasta dish, it just wasn’t really a carbonara. I also do not think I used the right mushrooms (or I just cooked them wrong) because they were just a bit too rubbery. I have since amended the recipe by adding VivEra bacon pieces and removing the mushrooms all together. I also add some vegan cheese on top and sometimes add some basil to it for an extra little taste.
It. Is. AMAZING. The bacon pieces give it that smokey, bacon-y taste that the liquid smoke and mushrooms should have done, but they are also way easier to prepare…or at least easier to find in my local shop! Occasionally I will still add in a handful or two of mushrooms, and add in a few different vegetables, depending on what is left over. I also found that adding a teaspoon of corn starch allows the cheese sauce to thicken up, and also means we do not need to use cashews (these are super expensive in store, and my partner doesn’t like them). The sauce is still super creamy, and as it cooks with the pasta it thickens up as well.