Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Smoky Balsamic Chickpea tofu. Spaghetti is tossed with pepper and vegan parm and then topped generously with smoky chickpea tofu bacony bits for a wonderful weeknight meal. Vegan Recipe, Soy-free, Can be Gluten-free. Jump to Recipe
This Cacio e pepe is a fabulous pasta dish with flavors which feel like you spent hours making it but it is super quick to put together! Mix up the vegan parmesan, crisp up some chickpea tofu with smoky flavors, make the spaghetti and mix with loads of freshly ground black pepper and herbs and done. You can use store bought vegan parm to speed it up even more.
This Black pepper parmesan spaghetti pasta is flexible, has no soy, can be made without nuts(see recipe notes). Lets make this!
Ingredients for Vegan Cacio e Pepe with Smoky Chickpea Tofu Bits
- The Smoky Chickpea Tofu needs chickpea tofu, garlic powder, smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and salt or liquid aminos or soy sauce. You can add a few drops of liquid for extra smokyness.
- The Vegan Parmesan is mix of almond flour, nutritional yeast, garlic, salt, lime zest, lime juice, brine from pickles or pickled jalapeno. You can use other vegan parm, to make nut-free, use a mix of pumpkin seeds and breadcrumbs.
- The Pasta has Spaghetti, garlic, loads of freshly ground black pepper, red pepper flakes and fresh herbs.
How to make Vegan Cacio e pepe with Step Photos
Make the smoky chickpea tofu bacony bits by cooking all the ingredients together until the mixtures starts to dry up. Taste and adjust if needed.
Mix the ingredients for the vegan parmesan. Add more lime juice if needed to make a mixture which has fat crumbs.
Saute the garlic, then add in black pepper, pepper flakes and broth, then mix in the spaghetti. Then mix in some parm and some of the smoky chickpea tofu. Cover and rest for a few minutes, then top with more chickpea tofu, black pepper and herbs to serve.
More Pastas for everyday or the Holidays
- Creamy Cajun Pasta with Breaded Tofu – So creamy, 23 g Protin!
- Lemon Asparagus Fettuccine, so Creamy!
- Sundried Tomato and Garlic Pasta with Soy curls.So beautiful!
- Garlic Pasta with Cajun Cauliflower – super popular
- Rose Sauce Farfalle – so Creamy!
- Lentil Bolognese with Spaghetti.– Hearty
- Cauliflower Parmesan Pasta Bake – sliced cauliflower, baked then dressed in vegan mozz, baked over pasta
Can I make this Cacio e Pepe gluten-free?
Yes, use gluten-free spagheti or other pasta of choice. Cook according to instructiton on package. Add more pasta water if the pasta dries out too much during sauteing.
Can I make this without Nuts?
To make the parm mixture without almonds, use other nuts such as cashews, macadamia, walnuts or for Nut-free, use mix of 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds blended into a coarse meal and 2 tbsp breadcrumbs.
Vegan Cacio e Pepe
For the Balsamic Roasted Chickpea Tofu:
- 3/4 cup (186 g) finely chopped chickpea tofu or pressed and chopped firm tofu
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp maple syrup , or use sugar/sweetener of choice
- 1/4 tsp salt or 1 tsp soy sauce/liquid aminos for soyfree
- 8 oz Spaghetti
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic , finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes , divided , use less for less heat
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (use less for less heat)
- 1/3 cup (37.33 g) vegan parm (recipe below) or use other store bought parm
- 1/2 cup (118.29 ml) pasta water
- 1/2 to 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- chopped parsley or basil or othr herbs for garnish
- 1/3 cup (37.33 g) almond flour , (or a mix of 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds blended into a coarse meal and 2 tbsp breadcrumbs for nut-free)
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp lime or lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp brine from pickle jar or pickled jalapeno, or use 1/4 tsp white vinegar
- Cook the spaghetti according to instructions on the package and set aside
- Make the Smoky Chickpea Tofu: Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When hot, Add the chickpea tofu (or pressed and chopped firm tofu). Mix for a few seconds. add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. cook until the sauce thickens. Taste carefully and adjust flavor with more salt, vinegar or maple. and a few drops of liquid smoke for extra smokyness. (This topping is optional, there is tons of flavor in the pasta + vegan parm!)
- Make the Parm: Mix everything under parm until it resembles fat crumbs. Press and mix a couple of times. Taste and adjust salt and zest.
- Pasta: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and cook for half a minute. Add the black pepper and half the pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is golden
- Add half of the parm and pasta water and bring to a good simmer. Add the spaghetti and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle in rest of the parm, half the smoky tofu, black pepper, remaining pepper flakes and parsley and toss lightly and serve. Top each bowl with more smoky chickpea tofu.Store: Refrigerate for upto 2 days. The pasta absorbs moisture on sitting so Reheat with some water or broth.