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Wicked Serious Carbonara

  • Serves: 4-6
  • Preparation: 30
  • Cooking: 60
  • Ready: 90

This Italian classic is banged out with cashews for creaminess, mushrooms for meatiness and pasta because … pasta!


For the alfredo-style cream sauce

  • 1 cup/200 g raw cashews, soaked for a few hours and rinsed (if you’re short on time, boil the raw cashews with the cauliflower in the first step in the directions below)
  • 400 g cauliflower (roughly 1 head) cleaned and dismembered into large pieces
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups of water
  • ¼ cup/50 g pine nuts, toasted (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 32 oz/900 ml unsweetened soy milk (or your favourite non-dairy milk)

For the mushrooms

  • 2 cups/400 g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

For the carbonara

  • 1 lb/450 g fresh fettuccini
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ large onion, medium diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
  • ½ cup/100 g peas, fresh or frozen

To garnish

  • small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, lightly packed
  • cracked black pepper
  • coarse salt


In a large saucepot add cashews (if you didn’t soak them), cauliflower, garlic, a pinch of salt, bay leaf and 3 cups of water. Cover and bring to a slow boil over a medium-high heat.

Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the cauliflower easily breaks apart. Strain and remove the bay leaf.

Transfer mixture to a high-speed blender (add cashews at this point if you pre-soaked them). Add pine nuts, miso and salt. Begin blending on low-speed while slowly adding the soy milk. Once incorporated, blend on high for couple minutes until the mixture is silky smooth.

Set aside half of the mixture for this recipe and save the remaining mixture in a closed container in the fridge for up to a week for other use.

To make the mushrooms

Preheat oven to 190C/375ºF/gas mark 5.

Add sliced shiitakes to a small bowl and toss with 1 tease spoon of the oil, smoked paprika and pinch of black pepper. In a large oven-safe skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add shiitake mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes, then transfer pan directly to oven and finish roasting for 10 minutes. Remove and transfer the mushrooms to a paper towel to allow to drain and crisp up.

To complete the dish

Cook fettuccine al dente according to the package instructions, set aside.

Heat large saucepot on medium heat until hot, then add oil, onions and sliced garlic cloves and sauté for 3 minutes until they begin to brown. Add a splash of water (or white wine if handy) to loosen, then half of the alfredo-style sauce, peas and mushrooms.

Heat for 1 minute then add pasta and stir to coat.

Remove from heat and garnish with the parsley, black pepper and salt, to taste.

Additonal notes

Recipe courtesy of Wicked Healthy, for Veganuary

Imagery © Derek Sarno

Find more great-tasting recipes on the Veganuary and Wicked Healthy websites.

“Helpful tip: while preparing this, we cooked the pasta ahead of time, and when it was time to add the pasta to the sauce we boiled a small pot of water and poured it over the cooled pasta to loosen and bring it up to temp before adding to the heating sauce.”


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