Shiitake Carbonara

For the shitake bacon:

  • 1/2 lb shiitakes; trimmed and sliced thin
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1-2 Tsp liquid smoke
  • Salt; as desired

For the pasta:

  • 1/2 lb pasta
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 medium onion; minced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic; minced
  • 7 oz soft tofu
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and fresh cracked pepper; as desired
  • 1 cup arugula or greens of your choice
  • Fresh parsley; to garnish

Preheat the oven to 375°F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms with oil, liquid smoke, salt, and pepper. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning frequently with a spatula, until lightly browned and crisp.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and let cook until soft. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes. Remove from heat. In a blender, combine onion, garlic, tofu, nutritional yeast, water, lemon juice, and salt. Process on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add sauce to pasta, throw in arugula, and toss to coat. Season with pepper and add more salt to taste. Let pasta sit for about 5 minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly. Top with shiitake bacon, parsley, Parmesan topping, if using, and serve.