This easy weeknight budget dinner has a lovely fresh flavour. Lots of crispy bacon is tossed through gluten-free buckwheat pasta which is coated in my dairy-free creamy carbonara sauce. I've used coconut cream, egg yolks, nutritional yeast flakes and fresh thyme leaves in my sauce to create this delicious classic. (Buckwheat is a grass and is naturally gluten-free and grain-free).
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Fill a large saucepan with water until two-thirds full. Bring to a rapid boil, add the buckwheat pasta and bring it back to a boil again and cook uncovered for 4 - 5 minutes (this is a quick-cooking pasta). Add the chopped broccoli into the boiling pot of pasta and allow to cook for 2 minutes or until the broccoli is tender but still bright green and the pasta is cooked. Scoop out 2/3 cup of the cooking liquid and set it aside. Drain the pasta and broccoli into a metal colander.
Meanwhile, whisk the coconut cream, egg yolks and nutritional yeast flakes together in a medium bowl, then stir in the thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan with high sides over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon pieces for approximately 5 minutes, stirring until browned. Add the garlic, then reduce the heat to low. Once the pan has cooled down a little, pour in the cream/yolk mixture and the reserved cooking liquid. Stir together with the bacon and garlic, and allow the mixture to come to a low simmer for 30 seconds while continuing to stir (you don't want the yolks to scramble).
Transfer the pasta and broccoli to the pan and toss to coat well with the sauce. Turn off the heat. Taste and check the seasoning is to your liking. Add more salt and pepper if desired.
Serve in individual bowls topped with a sprig of thyme. Optional, sprinkle with my Nut & Seed Parmesan Sprinkle recipe HERE.
Buckwheat is a grass and is naturally gluten-free and grain-free. Use Spiral organic 100% Buckwheat pasta made with only organic buckwheat flour. Read the ingredients on the packet as some brands may also contain rice, corn or maize flours. Buckwheat belongs to the grass family. It’s the fruit of a leafy plant and is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and plant protein. (I purchase the Macro brand).
Broccoli is an edible green plant with a flower head, which resembles cauliflower and belongs to the cabbage family. This vegetable is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, a good source of beta carotene, folate and vitamin E. It has significant amounts of iron, potassium and rich in glucosinolates, effective natural cancer fighters.
I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. When purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.
Poultry egg yolk is a major source of vitamins and minerals. It contains all of the egg's fat and nearly half of the protein. Vitamins A, D, E and K are found in the egg yolk. Egg yolk is one of the few foods naturally containing vitamin D. Egg yolk is at times separated from the white and used in cooking for mayonnaise, custard, hollandaise sauce etc.
Also know as Savoury Yeast Flakes. It’s a fermented and deactivated yeast, which means it isn’t going to grow (and has nothing to do with brewer’s yeast or bakers’ yeast). It has a creamy cheesy flavour and I’ve used it in a few recipes to create a cheese flavour. Vegans use it as a condiment and a cheese substitute, and to also add additional protein and vitamins to their diet (it’s a complete protein). Nutritional yeast flakes are free from sugar, dairy, grains and gluten. Do not confuse it with yeast extract (MSG). Purchase from health food stores or in the health food aisle of supermarkets.
Thyme is a perennial herb in the mint family of plants. Thyme has very small leaves that can vary in colour from deep to paler green shades. There are more that 350 known thyme species, common thyme is most popular for cooking but is also used for medicinal purposes. Use fresh or dried leaves to flavour casseroles, soups, stews and sauteed or mashed vegetables. To remove fresh thyme leaves easily, run your fingers down the stem in the opposite direction.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
The olive fruit of the olive tree is pressed and crushed to released the oil. Healthy fats like olive oil are essential for brain function and to transport vitamins and minerals throughout our bodies. This is a delicious oil to drizzled over salads and vegetables.
Choose grass-fed bacon that is nitrate free to avoid added chemicals and additives.
Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).