Creamy Orecchiette with Coconut Bacon

It’s September, which means fall is (hopefully) right around the corner🍂

As much as I love summer, there is something so exhilarating about that first cool day of autumn. My birthday comes in this month as well, so maybe that’s where my excitement originates? I DO know many people that would agree with me–fall is the best season.

Autumn means comfy sweaters and cozy foods, and pasta dishes are often though of as  ultimate comfort food. They are affordable to create, satisfying, and very customizable!

FullSizeRender-3.jpeg

Orecchiette, or “little ears” in Italian, are small pasta shapes that are perfect for envelopment of cream-based sauces. To keep this dish light I use a simple almond-milk base, but I am sure that cashew cream could amp this up even further.

A number of small veggies could work; I believe asparagus or broccoli would both be lovely. Peas are fun because (as you can see in the photos) they get caught inside the little noodles and provide that pop of bright flavor.

Arrowroot starch helps the sauce come together, and you don’t even need to drain the pasta! Talk about a one-pot meal.

Coconut bacon is optional, but I encourage you to give it a go. Unlike most recipes that call for liquid smoke, I bet you already have every seasoning in your pantry already. The chips provide a crisp and salty contrast to cheesy pasta noodles.

My goal this fall is to create more simple dinner options for you readers–anything that saves a few minutes is useful this time of year! Thankfully, these quick meals can still be plant-based, delicious, and affordable. Not to mention, they will please young eaters😂Without the peas this dish could practically pass as boxed mac n’ cheese!

Are there any specific recipes you’d like to see more of? Feel free to comment below!

Creamy Orecchiette with Coconut Bacon
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
A cheesy, plant-based weeknight meal that will please even the pickiest of eaters! Coconut bacon lends an savory crunch.
Ingredients
  • For pasta:
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 3 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
  • 1 lb orecchiette pasta
  • 1.5 cups peas, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 3 TBS cornstarch + 3 TBS water, whisked in a small bowl
  • Salt and pepper
  • For bacon:
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1.5 cups large coconut flakes
  • 4 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 TBS maple syrup
Method
  1. Combine all ingredients for coconut bacon in a small bowl and set aside to marinate.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté garlic for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently until fragrant. Add in vegetable broth and milk and bring to boil. Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions but do NOT drain.
  3. One minute before pasta is finished cooking, add in peas, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. Add in arrowroot mixture slowly, stirring the whole time. Turn off heat. While stirring your pasta should start to thicken up. Let sit for a minute while you make your bacon.
  4. In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over low until glistening. Add in marinated coconut and stir consistently until crisp and browed. Turn heat up to medium if needed. Mine took about 10 minutes.
  5. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding a little salt, pepper, and more nutritional yeast. Serve pasta with additional vegan cheese and coconut bacon.

2 thoughts on “Creamy Orecchiette with Coconut Bacon

  1. Yum I am so intrigued by the coconut bacon… smoked paprika is one of my favorite spices. Yay for Fall!!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.