Vegetarian carbonara

So carbonara is usually bacon so I was wondering how one of my favourite dishes fares when you take the bacon out of it.


  • 1 large cauliflower (about 700g), cut into small florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • small bunch thyme, leaves picked
  • 100g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 350g penne
  • 100g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • small pack parsley, chopped


    1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
    2. Toss the cauliflower with the oil, thyme and seasoning, and spread out on a large baking tray.
    3. Roast for 15-20 mins until starting to soften and caramelise.
    4. Sprinkle the hazelnuts over the cauliflower and cook for another 5 mins until the nuts are lightly toasted and the cauliflower cooked through.
    5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta following pack instructions.
    6. Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking water, then return to the pan.
    7. Take the baking tray out of the oven and add the cauliflower and hazelnuts to the pasta, then stir in the Parmesan, egg, cream, parsley and 1 tbsp of cooking water. The heat from the pasta should be enough to just cook the egg without scrambling it. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash more cooking water.
    8. Check the seasoning and serve.


      All in all it was a tasty little dish and the hazelnuts added something new to the mix. I still think I like my carbonara with bacon in personally but I wouldn’t turn this down in a hurry.

    Last updated: 7/4/2017


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s