We’ve updated this classic Roman dish and made it veggie. For our vegetarian spaghetti carbonara we’ve added smoked cheddar and mushrooms to mimic the iconic pancetta flavour - but we promise you won’t miss the meat.
When the carb cravings take hold, you need a recipe you know will satisfy them. Our vegetarian spaghetti carbonara fits that bill. Using very basic ingredients and some simple techniques, this is sure to become a favourite family-friendly dinner. We’ve replaced the meat with smoked cheddar for flavour and mushrooms for texture and we’re certain you won’t miss the meat. For more pasta recipes that riff off carbonara try our asparagus twist or the lower-fat penne version. When you’ve spent time perfecting your pasta sauce, make sure you cook the pasta perfectly too. Timings will vary depending on if you’re using fresh or dried pasta so be sure to adjust the recipe. If you’re interested in wine pairings for this cheesy Italian classic, we’d go for a crisp Pinot Grigio, or chilled blush Rosé.
- 200g chestnut mushrooms
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 50 finely grated smoked cheese
- 50g finely grated vegetarian pecorino, plus more to serve
- 300g fresh tagliatelli
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh thyme, to serve
Dry fry mushrooms in a pan for 7-8 mins to release all of their water. Crush the garlic with the back of your hand and add to the pan with the oil and pepper. Allow the garlic to fry and flavour the oil for 2-3 mins before discarding.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks and grated cheese together, set aside.
Meanwhile, in a pan of boiling salted water, cook the pasta for 2 mins until al dente. Reserving some of the cooking liquid, drain the pasta, add the to the frying pan and toss to coat all over in the oil. Working quickly, pour in the egg and cheese mixture and toss together, adding a little of the reserved pasta water as you go. Continue to toss until the mixture emulsifies and becomes creamy and silky. Grate over a little pecorino, sprinkle with thyme and serve immediately.
Top tip for making Vegetarian spaghetti carbonara with smoked cheese
Use dried pasta if you like, but allow for extra cooking time