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Vegan Spaghetti Carbonara

Traditionally, a carbonara is made by tossing spaghetti al dente in a mixture of raw eggs, grated pecorino (a hard, salty cheese), black pepper, and pancetta (a cured meat). Veganising this dish is a bit of a challenge, you could say: recipes that I’ve come across have a creamy sauce, which isn’t quite the Italian way.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: soy-free
Servings: 2 servings


  • 200 g original Italian spaghetti
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 100 g seitan
  • a few drops liquid smoke
  • 1/3 cup cashew cream (or another plant-based cream)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 pinch kala namak (black salt) (or to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, and cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, slice the seitan into very small pieces, and spray some liquid smoke onto it (or place 2-3 drops, and mix well so that the seitan takes on a smoky flavour).
  • Heat the oil in a large pan, and fry the seitan for a few minutes until slightly crispy.
  • Turn off the heat, add a tiny bit more liquid smoke to the seitan and mix.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the cashew cream (or plant-based cream of your choice) with the nutritional yeast and kala namak.
  • As soon as the pasta is al dente, drain it and add the pasta to the pan with the seitan, and toss it along with the cream mixture.
  • Leave for 3 minutes, then grind some black pepper on top of the spaghetti.
  • Serve the pasta with some good wine, and buon appetito!