I assure you this will be the final vegetarian recipe that I share with you from our month of vegetarianism. I’m sharing it because Liz and I both concluded it was one of the best pasta dishes we have ever made at home, and I’m not joking. It’s quick and easy to make. We found the recipe on a website called “Exceedingly Vegan,” and we modified it a bit. Let’s get started.

Carbonara Sauce Ingredients

2/3 cup raw cashews

2/3 cup vegetable broth

3 Tbs shredded Parmesan cheese

1 large clove of garlic

2 ½ Tbs fresh lemon juice

1 Tbs olive oil

½ tsp salt

1 14 oz of extra firm tofu

Tofu Marinade

2 ½ Tbs of olive oil

2 ½ Tbs of high quality soy sauce

2 tsp dark miso paste

1 ½ tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp ground cumin

1 tsp real maple syrup

First, remove the tofu and place it on a plate with an old kitchen towel under the tofu. Place another towel on top of the tofu and set a large skillet on top of the tofu. Leave it for an hour or so. This will squeeze out a lot of the water, which is what is needed. Our daughter, Emily, showed us how to do this.

Cut the tofu into small, bite size pieces and set in a bowl. Combine the marinade ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour over the tofu and toss so all the tofu is covered. Spread out the tofu on a foiled cookie sheet and place in the oven which is preheated to 400 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes or so, turning the tofu two or three times during the cooking process. In a blender, combine all of the carbonara sauce ingredients and thoroughly blend until all is smooth.

Prepare your pasta. We boiled up 2/3 of a box of whole wheat spaghetti. Drain the spaghetti, drizzle a bit of olive oil back into the same pot and re-add the spaghetti. Pour in the sauce and add the tofu. Gently toss and serve immediately. We added more parmesan cheese on the top along with some freshly cut parsley. We will definitely make this again. You may wonder what miso paste is. It’s a fermented paste made from soybeans. It adds depth to the dish and is really important. Depending on the city you live in, you may need to order this online, but it’s worth it.

One additional point. The garlic stayed with us all night because it was basically raw. You can substitute a teaspoon or so of granulated garlic to avoid that. Speaking for us, we will stick with the garlic clove. Enjoy!

Dave Lobeck is an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Jeffersonville by day and a BBQ enthusiast on nights and weekends. Liz is his wife. You can contact Dave with your BBQ, cooking or grilling questions at davelobeck@gmail.com. You can also visit their YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/BBQMyWay

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