Pasta alla carbonara is the dish that puts many chefs at odds for the choice of ingredients and the method of preparation! The vegan version, on the other hand, makes everyone agree as long as the pasta is cooked "al dente".
It is such a famous dish that "carbonara day" is celebrated every year on April 6th!
Italian say IF YOU VISIT ROME AND DON'T TASTE PASTA ALLA CARBONARA YOU CAN SAY YOU HAVE NOT REALLY BEEN THERE.
The plant-based version is just as good: a creamy sauce and smoked Jackfruit will not make you miss the original ingredients!
320g fresh spaghetti
extra virgin olive oil
grated vegan cheese *optional but recommended
For the Bacon Jackfruit:
250g Jackfruit chunks from MEET JACK
1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp agave syrup
For the cream:
40g chickpea flour
250 ml of cold water
1 ½ tsp Kala Namak*
1 tsp turmeric
First, we need to make the “bacon” from the Jackfruit chunks. When the chunks or the strips of Jackfruit are defrosted, cut them in small pieces, trying to maintain compact cubes, then put in a bowl.
Add all the other ingredients and mix very well, you should make a “massage”!
Leave for a few hours marinating in this way, but overnight is the best!
After the resting time, place the small cubes on a tray with baking paper and bake them at 185 degrees for 15minutes: they need to be a bit crunchy, if necessary, leave them for extra 5 minutes or use the grill function! Let them cool down.
Cook the spaghetti in abundant salted water.
While the water is boiling and the pasta is cooking, place in a pot 250 ml of water, Kala Namak salt, and turmeric, then add the chickpea flour time by time to prevent lumps from forming.
Whisk well, then put in a saucepan at very low heat. It will start to thicken after a few minutes, whisk constantly and cook for about 6 minutes. Need to be super creamy, you can add extra water if it become to dry.
When the pasta is al dente, drain and add it to the sauce in a pan; sauté for a minute adding also the bacon Jackfruit cubes.
Serve with generous grated vegan cheese, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and fresh ground black pepper!
* Kala Namak is a rock salt used in South Asia with a sulphurous, pungent-smell. It is also known as "Himalayan black salt". It is not mandatory in the recipe (you can use normal seasalt) but it gives to the dish a very strong egg-like taste and smell! You can easly find it on-line, in the Asian supermarket and in other shops!