This Vegetarian Spaghetti Carbonara is the REAL ITALIAN deal. Promise. I do not know how many Spaghetti Carbonara’s you have had in your life, but the version we do here in Germany is not made with eggs but cream and the bacon used is not bacon, but cooked ham. That is the interpretation of the dish. It is completely different from an authentic, Italian pasta and if you have eaten the real thing… well certainly there was no going back for me.
I first learned how to cook a real Carbonara in China. Many moons ago, I was on a student semester abroad and one of my fellow exchangers was of Italian heritage and taught us. Then, one day, I was craving Vegetarian Spaghetti Carbonara at home. I googled some recipes and for whatever reason, people seem to believe that a Vegetarian Spaghetti Carbonara should contain cream, spinach, and peas?! I was totally not having that, so I decided to combine the recipe I had learned years ago with a version of vegan bacon. That is the recipe I am presenting to you today 🥰.
This Vegetarian Spaghetti Carbonara is the ideal, ultimate comfort food. It is delicious, hearty, filling, and the “bacon” tastes close to the real deal. Albeit, if you do eat meat – I would probably recommend using it in this dish to make the taste even more authentic.
Why is this Vegetarian Spaghetti Carbonara good for?
I adore tempeh 🥰. I like that it has a bit of a denser consistency and can be used in quite a versatile way. Other than its little “cousin” tofu – I also like that it easily crisps up (or perhaps I have simply not found the right recipes?!). Originally from Indonesia, Tempeh is made from soybeans that have been fermented. Fermented foods are a great probiotic that helps to improve and support your overall gut-microbiome. I have also shared a bit more in my Homemade Sauerkraut recipe about the many gut-health benefits of fermentation. In addition, Tempeh is a rich source of Magnesium, Manganese, and Calcium. Calcium, amongst others, does not only aid in building healthy bones, but also with blood clotting and muscle contraction in your body.
Onions are one of my favorite flu and cold fighter! They are a powerful prebiotic and contain loads of antioxidants. Onions are particularly high in Vitamin C, and in B Vitamins 9 and 6. Onions are also a great protector for your heart. They are highly anti-inflammatory, which can lead to lowering your blood pressure, decrease triglycerides, and “bad” cholesterol levels. Next to being good for our hearts, onions may also help us in lowering our risks of stomach and colorectal cancers. In recent animal studies, onions have also shown to control blood sugar levels, suggesting that this is also possible in humans.
For anyone who has never had nutritional yeast before, this is a type of yeast that is popular in the vegan kitchen, mainly because it tastes very similar to cheese. Because this yeast is specifically grown for the food industry, any active yeast cells are “killed” in the final product by adding heat. Nutritional yeast is very nutritious, particularly in Vitamin B12 – albeit one has to remember that this type of food is usually eaten in small quantities. Vitamin B12 is needed by your body to keep your blood and nerve cells healthy, as well as making DNA. It can usually only be obtained from animal products, mainly meat. You should consider taking a supplement if you are on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
There are many pots and pans that you kind of have to “juggle” at the same time with a Carbonara. The timing is everything, because you want the dish to be hot, but not too hot so that the eggs starts to curdle and become scrambled. I have therefore provided loads of progress steps and pictures for you below. If you follow the steps in the recipe, everything should come out on time and be one, combined dish 🤗.
How can I adjust this recipe to my dietary requirements?
This Vegetarian Spaghetti Carbonara is definitely a vegetarian one. Due to the use of eggs and cheese, this recipe is – sadly – not suitable for vegans or if you follow a paleo lifestyle. If you do eat meat, I would recommend making this dish in its original form, by frying off some bacon.
And there you have it for this week 🤩. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as we do over at our house 😍. Let me know how you get on with creating it and whether you like my version of “bacon” by leaving a comment below or over on Instagram under @life_and_lemons_foodblog and with #lifeandlemonsfoodblog. Happy cooking!!