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RECIPE: Classic Spaghetti Carbonara

Updated: Dec 9, 2019

A classic Italian dish, traditionally made with pancetta or bacon and egg yolks - we're taking it to new vegan heights! This recipe uses tofu, liquid smoke and kala namak as a creative stand-in for bacon and egg. However you could use your favourite store-bought vegan bacon product instead.

Recipe by Nadia Fragnito in Discovering Vegan Italian


Tofu Bacon

200g block extra firm tofu

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon liquid smoke

Tofu Egg Sauce

300g silken tofu

1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1 teaspoon black salt

(kala namak)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

light dash turmeric powder

cracked black pepper

4-5 tablespoons oil for shallow frying

250g dried spaghetti

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup vegan parmesan cheese


Tofu Bacon Marinade

Cut the firm tofu block in half. Using a mandolin slicer, carefully shave the tofu halves into thin slices. This will be your bacon.

Pour the soy sauce and liquid smoke into a bowl. Soak the tofu slices in the marinade.

Tofu Egg

In a food processor, blend the all the tofu egg ingredients until smooth. Set aside.

Tofu Bacon

Drain the tofu pieces from the marinade.

In a medium frypan, heat the oil. Test a small piece of tofu in the oil first to see if it is hot enough. If the tofu sizzles straight away, it is ready. Fry the tofu pieces in batches until golden brown. The longer you fry, the crispier they will be. Drain the tofu bacon on absorbent paper but reserve the cooking oil.

Cook the spaghetti in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 8 minutes or until al dente. Strain the pasta.

Stir the tofu egg and olive oil through the cooked spaghetti until each strand is coated. Fold through the bacon, along with its cooking oil. Reserve some bacon pieces for garnish. To serve, sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese.