Penne Carbonara


This smoky, creamy pasta dish uses smoked tofu and fresh peas for a satisfying combination of flavors.

Serves: 2 | active time: 1 hr | total time: 1 hr

Note: this dish is very quick, so you need to have all of your mise en place and equipment organized before you begin cooking.

Step 1: Preparing the Mise en Place

  • 1/2 cup leeks, thoroughly washed and minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup Basic White Sauce up to 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup smoked tofu, 1/4–inch dice, (substitute tempeh bacon, or home–smoked tofu)
  • 1/2 cup fresh shelled peas, raw or lightly blanched
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Step 2: Cooking the Dish

  • 4 qt water
  • 1 tbs sea salt (optional)
  • 1/2 lb gluten–free penne (or whole wheat if you prefer)

1.    To begin, bring a pot of water to a boil and add the optional sea salt. Next, add the penne and cook al denté according to package directions, stirring frequently to prevent the pasta from sticking.
2.    While the penne is cooking, bring a fry pan to medium–high heat. When hot add the leeks and stir until the leeks begin to stick to the pan. Deglaze with the white wine and continue to stir well for 1 to 2 minutes.
3.    Next, add the Basic White Sauce to the sautéed leeks, stirring well. Dilute the mixture slightly with a bit of vegetable stock. Depending on the thickness of the white sauce, you may need to add a bit more stock.
4.    Add the tofu and peas and mix thoroughly. Continue to cook until the sauce begins to simmer.
5.    At this point, the pasta should be al denté. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce. Toss well, making sure to fully coat the pasta.
6.    Remove from the heat, add the parsley and freshly–ground black pepper.
7.    Serve immediately.


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