Carbonara-Style Spaghetti with Crispy Shiitake Bacon


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

Easy Vegan

Easy Vegan

By Sue Quinn

Published 2015

  • About

My 12-year-old daughter, who normally detests mushrooms and adores traditional carbonara pasta in all its eggy, cheesy glory, loves this version. Enough said.

PREPARATION: 15 minutes, once the cashew cream is made
COOKING: 25 minutes


For the Shiitake Bacon

  • sea salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 8 drops liquid smoke* (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 100 g ( oz) shiitake mushrooms, sliced

For the Sauce & Pasta

  • 250 g (9 oz) vegan spaghetti
  • fine sea salt
  • olive oil, for tossing
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) porcini mushroom or vegetable stock
  • teaspoons white miso paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules
  • 1 teaspoon onion granules
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) cashew cream
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, to serve (optional)


Heat the oven to 170°C (325°F/Gas 3). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Combine all the bacon ingredients except the mushrooms in a mixing bowl. Add the mushrooms and toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer on the prepared baking tray and roast for 7–10 minutes until sizzling and golden. Set aside to cool.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water following the packet directions. Drain and return to the pan. Toss with a little olive oil and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, make the sauce. In a small pan, heat the stock, then whisk in the miso paste until dissolved. Reduce the heat and add the garlic and onion granules, the cashew cream and salt and pepper. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens into a creamy sauce. Taste for seasoning – the sauce might need quite a bit of salt.

Toss the pasta and sauce together and stir through the shiitake. Distribute into bowls, ensuring each receives equal amounts of the shiitake. Serve sprinkled with the parsley (if using).