Vegetarian Spaghetti Carbonara

When I was a kid my absolute favorite meal was spaghetti carbonara. My other absolute favorite meal was ketchup and bologna, so standards were high. Knowing my health-freak parents and the anti-fat craze of the ’90s, I probably ate a version made with fat-free Parmesan along with turkey sausage-replaced bacon. This flavorless bowl of pasta set my eight year old taste buds on fire.

I don’t remember the last time I’ve had spaghetti carbonara, but I’m determined recreate these childhood memories. Ah, how I miss the days of bowl hair cuts and not paying for food and not paying for rent and not paying for etc. (For a vegan version of spaghetti carbonara click here).

  • 1 pound of pasta (I used thin spaghetti because it’s been proven to be the most delicious type of pasta in the world, but you can do as you please)
  • 2-3 vegan sausages
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
  • Black pepper to taste

Get some water on the stove and once it’s boiling add in the pasta.  In the meantime start working on the meat. I decided to stick with vegetarian sausage in the name of tradition and in the name of vegetarian bacon sucking. I’m really into Tofurkey’s Italian sausage but I wasn’t sure its flavor would work well with this recipe. I tried the Kielbasa flavor and was very pleased.

spaghetti carbonara
Name one thing more appetizing than vegan sausage, I dare you

I ended up only using three links, but two would definitely suffice depending on how much meat you can handle 😉

Give the sausage a good chop and then toss it on a pan with some oil.


Once the sausage started to brown I added some chopped garlic.

spaghetti carbonara
Does this sexy pic convince you that I don’t have a jar of pre-chopped garlic in my fridge?

While everything is cooking, prepare your sauce. You will need: four eggs, parsley, Parmesan cheese and a SECRET INGREDIENT (water from the pasta pot).

I was hoping to get a little fancy with the cheese, but unfortunately I’m not qualified to spend $20.00 on dairy products. I’d like to think that one day I will walk down the aisles of Whole Foods, tossing blocks of Tomme De Savoie and Stanswer Schafkase (I googled “fancy cheese”) into my cart willy-nilly. I stuck with a pre-grated variety, but I poured it into a bowl so no one would know the difference.

spaghetti carbonara
God saw you recycle that plastic container

I chopped up about half a cup of parsley, leaving some aside to sprinkle over my serving. I like parsley because it’s fresh and light, a nice contrast to the richness of the dish. It also adds color. I don’t like parsley because unless you have a family that resembles the Romneys you won’t be able to use the entire bunch. Seriously, what do people do with so much parsley? I’ll have to start garnishing my cereal.

spaghetti carbonara
I get it parsley, I should settle down!

I decided to use two whole eggs and two egg yolks, but play with the proportions. If I was ever feeling super saucy I’d just go for yolks. I lightly whisked them and then added the parsley and  about 1.5 cups of cheese.

spaghetti carbonara

Okay, here’s the sneaky party. Take about a fourth of a cup of the pasta water and whisk it into the sauce. It should start to form a cohesive sauce. Assuming your pasta is cooked add it into the bowl with the sauce.

spaghetti carbonara

If your sausage is crispy enough to your liking, add that to the pasta. Grind in tons and tons of black pepper and stir it up. I served mine topped with more Parmesan and about 1/10000th of the parsley I have left.

spaghetti carbonara
What an appropriate amount of food to eat (I had three servings)
spaghetti carbonara
The money shot

Now it’s time to eat your spaghetti carbonara. Or at least switch from eating out of the mixing bowl to eating out of an individual bowl. Whoops.



  1. Hi Jane!
    The spaghetti looks delicious, and it’s even kosher! You were right, this mom is interested. Maybe I’ll even tell my mother!

    1. Esther!

      Thank you so much for reading, let me know if you try this recipe. It’s great to hear from you!


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