This fresh take on the classic carbonara is sure to delight both vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Traditionally, Carbonara sauce is made using guanciale, or pork cheek. In our creamy vegetarian pasta recipe, we substitute pieces of soft, gently browned courgette. The subtly fresh flavour of courgette helps balance this decadent sauce, which is also made from rich egg, vegetarian hard cheese, a touch of freshly ground black pepper and an - albeit provocative - drop of cream.
While this vegetarian carbonara does stray from tradition, we recommend pairing the sauce with a classic pasta shape, such as spaghetti, or the slightly more fun bucatini. Similar in shape to spaghetti, this long, hollow pasta also originates from Rome, and is deft at capturing every drop of this salty and moreish sauce. If you want to make your own fresh pasta from scratch, tagliatelle is a perfect pairing for this sauce, and is especially simple to make.
Vegetarian courgette carbonara recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Calories per serving: 816kcal
- 100-120g fresh courgette, cubed
- 4 egg yolks*
- 175ml single cream
- 85g vegetarian Italian hard cheese (plus extra to serve)
- Black pepper, to taste
- 1tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 400g fresh pasta
*Chef's tip: When separating your egg yolks, try to use cold eggs. Colder eggs are easier to separate.
- Add your egg yolks to a bowl, along with the cream, freshly grated vegetarian hard cheese and a generous amount of fresh black pepper. whisk these ingredients until well combined and set to one side.
- In a pan over medium heat, add a splash of olive oil. Once hot, add your cubed courgette, and gently fry for around 5 minutes, until softened and slightly browned. Once cooked, remove your courgette from the pan. Remove any excess moisture by gently patting the courgette with some kitchen paper.
- Bring a large saucepan of generously salted water to a rolling boil, before adding your chosen fresh pasta. Cook for between 3-6 minutes, depending on your pasta type, or until al dente (taste a piece before removing from the cooking water).
- Once cooked, strain your pasta, ensuring to reserve a splash of the starchy cooking water.
- Add your courgette back to the large frying pan, and heat the mixture back up if cold (courgette doesn't retain its heat). Add your pasta to the pan, and immediately remove the mixture from the heat. Add your egg mixture, and toss the mixture vigorously, so the sauce does not settle on the base of the pan. Move the sauce continuously, to ensure the mixture does not curdle - the residual heat from the pan should heat the sauce, without fully cooking the eggs. Add the pasta water adjusting as necessary to obtain a silky sauce that completely coats your pasta.
- Once fully coated, plate your pasta, and garnish with a generous helping of vegetarian hard cheese. Buon appetito.
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