Mushroom Carbonara Recipe

Chef Derek Sarno proves you can still enjoy your favourite creamy pasta with this plant-based carbonara recipe. Using clever flavour pairings, Derek uses savoury shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce to create 'shroom bacon, and whips up a dairy-free sauce that's silky smooth but with a slight tang of miso paste that helps bring an almost cheesy flavour to this classic dish.

Mushroom Carbonara Recipe


  • 75g dairy-free butter or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 60g plain flour
  • 200ml white wine
  • 700ml unsweetened soya or almond milk
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • 500g spaghetti
  • 240g frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • chopped fresh parsley, to serve

For the mushroom ‘bacon’
  • 240g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¾ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic granules


  1. First, make the mushroom 'bacon'. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. Put the mushrooms in a small bowl with the soy sauce, oil, paprika, garlic granules and ¼ tsp black pepper; stir to coat. Set aside to marinate for 15 mins. Spread evenly over a lined baking sheet and bake for 30 mins, then set aside.
  2. Heat the dairy-free butter or oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 3 mins until they begin to turn translucent. Stir in the flour then gradually add the wine, whisking to create a smooth roux. Whisk in the milk, miso, smoked paprika, garlic granules and some seasoning and simmer for 5 mins. Remove from the heat, put in a blender and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan and reheat over a low-medium heat, stirring regularly.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling water for 10-12 mins or until al dente, adding the peas for the last 3 mins. Drain then return the spaghetti and peas to the pan. Pour over the creamy sauce, then add the capers and mushroom 'bacon'. Mix well, then serve immediately sprinkled with the parsley.

Mushroom Carbonara Recipe

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