The kids and I love green beans and, of course, noodles of all varieties. And Carbonara is a family favorite. I’m not much of a fan of eggs in general, but the eggs are pretty critical to the standard carbonara. Then again, so is bacon. I love carbonara with Black Forest “Bacon” or Mushroom “Bacon” Bits (I think I prefer the mushroom kind, it goes perfectly with pasta). But my standard egg binder of cornstarch and water just doesn’t cut it for carbonara. It loses that flavor kick from the eggs. So, in honor of VeganMoFo, I’m trying a hopefully much zippier egg substitute that I’ve used in other savory dishes to much success: pumpkin puree. I think it will stick to the noodles much like the egg and the subtle pumpkin flavor should go really well with the bacony mushrooms.
Green Bean Carbonara
Adapted from Green Bean Carbonara.
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 3/4 pound green beans, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup mushroom bacon
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (or 2 portions any egg substitute)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese substitute plus more for topping, if desired
- Salt and pepper
Cook pasta according to packagedirections, adding beans halfwaythrough cooking time; drain,reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. With a bit of olive oil, add onion to a skillet and soften. Deglaze with reserved cookingwater and mix in pumpkin puree. Offheat, add pasta, beans, andcheese to skillet and toss; seasonwith salt and pepper. Top with extra cheese, if desired, and serve.
I’ll be honest, what I actually did was try to mix the pumpkin puree in at the same time the regular eggs go in…after the pasta is already in the pan. I made it work, but it was much harder than it should have been and ended up sticking more to some spots than others. So, when you make this, mix it into that water in the pan so it coats more evenly, it will work much better. Yes, do as I say, not as I do…I’m learning to parent well even while cooking, right? 🙂
The great news is this is fantastic. The subtle pumpkin flavor and the bacony mushrooms are a fantastic pairing and the green beans give the dish a much-needed crunch. The pumpkin sticks to the noodles in a strikingly similar way to eggs. This dish is my favorite of the week and is right up my cooking alley: simple and tasty. I plan to use pumpkin puree more often in place of eggs. The flavor is so much better. The kids and I all loved it. The husband liked it, but still prefers his traditional bacon carbonara.