In keeping with the pasta theme, this creamy leek spaghetti brings you all the richness of a traditional carbonara, without all the very un-vegan additions of parmesan, guanciale and egg. Obviously I am very reluctant to call this a carbonara, as I know there are a lot of purists on the matter. I daren’t say this is better, but it certainly lives up to its meaty counterpart, just with a lot more green goodness.
The base of the sauce is a cashew cream, easy enough to make at home with a blender, which has a very authentic creamy texture, as well as a light nuttiness. If you don’t have the time to wait for cashews to soak, Oatly oat cream is an equally delicious substitute.
- Chopping Board and Knife
- Large lidded saucepan
- Spoon for stirring
- Medium saucepan
For the Cashew Cream Sauce:
- 1 cup raw Cashew Nuts
- 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- Handful of shredded Kale
- Pinch of Salt
For the Leek Spaghetti:
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic, sliced finely
- 3 sprigs Rosemary, chopped finely
- 1 large Leek, sliced finely, greens and all
- 150g dried Spaghetti
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
To make the cashew cream, place your cashews in a bowl and cover completely with boiling water. Set aside for one hour. Alternatively, cover your cashews with cold water and leave to soak overnight (at least 8 hours) at room temperature. Drain off the soaking liquid, add to a blender with 250ml water. Blend until smooth, you may need to add more water to achieve the desired consistency. When creamy, throw in your kale, nutritional yeast and salt to the mix, along with an additional splash of water, then blend until you have a well-combined green sauce. Set aside.
Place the large pan over a medium heat and pour in the oil. Add in the garlic and fry for one minute, at which point it should be golden. Add in your leeks and rosemary, stir for an additional minute, then pour over 500ml of cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. After this, the leeks will be very soft and slightly sweet, and all the water will have evaporated. Season with salt and pepper.
In a separate saucepan, boil up some water ready for your spaghetti. When bubbling, stir in a good amount of salt and add your spaghetti, turning it until fully submerged under the water. Cook until al dente, around 6-8 minutes, reserve a mugful of the pasta water and drain.
Turn off the heat and pour the cashew sauce into the leek pan, stirring to incorporate. Toss in your drained pasta, along with a splash of the pasta water. Stir to combine, adding in more pasta water as desired to loosen the sauce. Season well.
Serve in a pasta bowl with a crack of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.