Updated: May 26, 2020
Hello fellow quarantine-rs! Whilst the world is radically changing around us, I am trying to ensure some sense of normalcy by continuing my mission of bringing you delicious and inventive recipes! My new goal is to come up with dishes from the things I already have in my house. It's a little easier and a lot more cost effective. As well as the fact that the grocery stores have been picked clean. Yikes.
I bring to you today *drumroll please* DAIRY AND EGG FREE CARBONARA! Das right yo'. It tastes frickin delicious (probably the bacon if i'm being honest) so you need to get on this ASAP Rocky.
I made an effort to make this quarantine-friendly, so I only used what I had in my pantry and fridge rather than actively searching for things. If I could have, I would've put some sliced mild chillies in there. If you have access to chillies right now, do it, you won't regret it.
Smoked salmon or ham would work nicely instead of the bacon - but be weary of this, a lot of the flavour comes from the salt and fat of the bacon.
CHEESE! I felt like going dairy-free but you could absolutely add your favourite cheese; I'd recommend parmesan.
Save all your pasta water. Please. For me?
Double the recipe if making for more than 2-3 people.
A lot of things can be on the go at the same time with this recipe so you need to keep an eye on them. Watch your pasta and your onions constantly to make sure you aren't over cooking or burning anything.
Save some of the fried bacon to sprinkle on top if you are looking to spruce up the presentation.
250g of pasta (about half a pack)
1/2 cup of cashews soaking in 1/2 cup of water
5 shallots, diced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
4 rashers of bacon, diced to your preference
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cracked, black pepper
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes
1 cup of fresh or frozen peas, steamed or boiled
2/3 cup of grated parmesan (optional)
Ideally you want to soak your cashews in water for around 6 hours. It is not strictly necessary though - if you don't do this, you may just have a grainier sauce but it's not too much a problem (it will still taste delicious).
Start by grabbing a small pot or pan to make your caramelised shallots. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pot on a very low heat. Add your shallots and stir occasionally. Leave them for 15 minutes - making sure to stir and check they aren't burning at any point. After 15 minutes, add in your sugars and apple cider vinegar. Leave to caramelise for a further 6-10 minutes, occasionally stirring.
Meanwhile blend your cashews and water with a small crack of pepper and pinch of salt. The consistency of the cashews should be thick but should still fall off a spoon easily. Place this aside.
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add in your pasta. I used spaghetti, but pretty much any pasta will work with this dish. Cook the pasta until al dente BUT SAVE YOUR PASTA WATER!
In a large pan, add one tablespoon of olive oil and your bacon. Once the bacon is cooked and starting to crisp up (about 5-7 minutes), slowly add in a cup of pasta water - bit by bit. Once the pasta water is cooked down significantly (about 7 minutes), stir in your cashew sauce. If the sauce is too thick add more pasta water.
Take the sauce off the heat and stir through your parmesan (if using), onions, peas and your pasta.
Serve whilst hot!