Giada de Laurentiis from Giada at Home (and formerly Everyday Italian) is probably one of my favorites. I love her balance between clean, healthy food and rich, decadent food. Today’s recipe is…decadent. I was having a hard time deciding which recipe to veganize for Vegan Month of Food. Nothing screamed “GIADA!!!” And then I remembered this recipe. Capellini al Forno.
Watching Giada and Raffy argue over the recipe is nothing short of hysterical. Raffy favors the “traditional” recipe and Giada likes to tweak by adding things like parsley.
So what is in this recipe? And what makes it decadent?
Well…it’s capellini (angel hair) pasta mixed with butter, Parmesean, and parsley. I layered it in a greased spring-form pan with mozzarella, bacon, and bread crumbs in the layers. I don't think I need to explain why it's decadent. I added a jar of tomato sauce because the written recipe called for it, but I didn’t see her use it in the video. Weird.
Anyways, so I used Go Veggie’s soy Parm, Daiya mozzarella, and Tofurky tempeh bacon. I could’ve made my own tempeh bacon, but really, that was more effort. Instead of eggs, I used Ener-G egg replacer. I’ll write a list of my substitutions.
This veganization was my favorite so far. The pot pie was great, the vegan chicken cacciatore was fine. This was a knockout. Smokey and filling and full of flavor, even my roommate and best friend, Mya, loved it. We both agree that if you can spring for more than one package of tempeh that it might be worth it, at least on special occasions.
It seriously smells amazing too…even after it’s gone and you’ve got your empty plate next to you while you watch YouTube videos, all of a sudden you get a whiff of mozz and tempeh and angels sing.
Oh...and I didn't overdo it on salt this time.
I’m thinking there are some definite options for mixing it up a little bit. Instead tomato sauce between the layers, you could use pesto. You could add spinach or another green in with the pasta to give it a little more of a nutritional punch. You could use gluten-free pasta. You could add caramelized onions and garlic. How about sun dried tomatoes? How about artichokes? Think of the possibilities, people.
Okay. So here is my list of substitutions.
- Go Veggie! soy Parmesan instead of dairy Parm. You could also use nooch instead!
- Daiya mozzarella instead of smoke dairy mozzarella.
- Tofurky tempeh bacon instead of prosciutto.
- Earth Balance instead of dairy butter.
So if it sounds magical, it's because it is. I only have two words left for you: Make this!