I had a ridiculous craving for spaghetti carbonara the other day. The wife is a vegetarian, so normally I don't make it at the house because I just don't enjoy carbonara without the pork.
I decided to try it with tempeh. I bought some Lightlife fakin' bacon, chopped it up as I would for a more traditional carbonara and pan fried it to give it a little more crunch. Still not quite as crunchy as some fatty pork, but good.
Believe it or not, it was delicious. Maybe I'm fooling myself, but I'm a huge fan of carbonara and have eaten it all over the world.
My simple method is this:
1) Pan fry the tempeh in some oil until it's nice and crisp
2) Toss some pasta in boiling, salted water
3) Whisk a few eggs, roughly 1 per person in a separate bowl
4) Add a generous amount of finely grated parmesan cheese to the bowl with the eggs and whisk
5) Remove the tempeh from the pan and let it drain
6) Saute a generous amount of chopped garlic for a minute or two
7) Throw the pasta into the pan and saute everything for a minute or so
8) Take the pan off the heat
9) Slowly pour in the egg/cheese mixture and whisk like crazy so it doesn't scramble
10) Whisk in a generous amount of coarsely ground black pepper
I know there are probably other ways to do it, but this works well for me. Any thoughts or ideas as to what else I can do with carbonara'esque dishes, still vegetarian?