Roasted squash vegan carbonara pasta with brussels sprouts "bacon"!
Course: Main Course
Author: Lauren Hartmann
Brussels Sprouts Bacon
2CupsShredded Brussels sprouts
3TablespoonsSoy sauce or Tamari
1SmallSquash*, you want to end up with 1 1/2 cups
8OuncesFirm tofu, not extra firm(about 1/2 a block)
2TablespoonsApple cider vinegar
16OuncesPasta, gluten-free or regular
1/4CupReserved pasta water
Salt and Pepper to taste
Vegan Parmesan, optional (I used Violife)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees(F).
Thinly slice or shred your brussels sprouts so you have 2 cups of sliced sprouts. Add them to a bowl.
Then pour the olive oil, soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup, brown sugar and paprika into the bowl with the brussels sprouts and toss to combine everything. Make sure the sprouts are as submerged as possible in the marinade. Then let sit, stirring occasionally while you roast the squash.
Cut the squash into chunks. I just leave the peel or skin on and scoop the squash out once it has roasted. Place the squash on a sheet pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Roast the squash for 30-40 minutes or until it is nice and soft. Remove from the oven when the squash is done.
Now, take the brussels sprouts out of the marinade, I like to use a slotted spoon to do that. Place them in a thin layer on a sheet pan and bake for 7-8 minutes toss and bake for another 5-7 minutes or until they are brown and nicely roasted. Remove from the oven.
While the brussels sprouts are in the oven, cook your pasta according to package directions. Making sure to save at least 1/4 cup of the pasta water before draining. Drain the rest when finished.
Once you have the pasta going, make the sauce. Scoop the roasted squash out of the skin, and measure out 1 1/2 cups. Add that to a blender. Then squeeze some of the liquid out of your tofu over the sink(I just use my hands), then add that to the blender along with the vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, paprika and a few good pinches of salt and pepper.
Blend until completely smooth, it may take a few minutes depending on you blender. Scrape down the sides as needed.
Once the pasta is done, return it to the pot, then add about 1/2 the sauce and start tossing. Then add the reserved pasta water, and toss to combine. Continue adding the sauce until you have added as much as you want. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Serve the pasta with the brussels sprouts bacon on top and some vegan Parmesan if desired.
*I used acorn squash. A small one was almost exactly 1 1/2 cups of roasted squash. I also recommend butternut squash or pumpkin if you prefer.