Vegetarian spaghetti carbonara with smoked cheese recipe

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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.

vegetarian spaghetti carbonara with smoked cheese and mushrooms
(Image credit: TI Media Limited)
  • Vegetarian
  • healthy
Serves4
SkillEasy
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time15 mins The egg and cheese mix may curdle when combined, don’t worry.
Total Time25 mins
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories333 Kcal17%
Fat19 g27%
Saturated Fat7.5 g38%
Carbohydrates20.5 g8%

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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

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Method

  1. 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.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks and grated cheese together, set aside.
  3. 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

With over 12 years of experience, arts graduate Keiron turned to food to channel his creativity, specifically cake decorating. Keiron set up his wedding cake business in 2015. And, in late 2016 won a scholarship at the world-renowned culinary institute - Le Cordon Bleu, London, where he studied the art of French Pâtisserie. He's worked in some of London’s finest 5-star hotels, collecting a wealth of knowledge along the way. As a Food Writer and Stylist food isn’t just a job, it truly is Keiron's passion.