Pasta Carbonara with Shitake bacon

This mouthwatering recipe comes to you from one of my favorite vegan chefs, Chef Chloe Coscarelli of New York City’s super popular By Chloe restaurant.

As if carbonara isn’t lovable enough for having the word “carb” in it, here’s another reason to make it your favorite pasta. The creamy, indulgent sauce is made from healthy, high-protein tofu, but it tastes like it has all sorts of dairy products in it. Top it with shiitake bacon (simply thinly sliced roasted shiitake mushrooms with olive oil and sea salt) and it’s the perfect bait for any bacon aficionado!



  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced (about ¼ inch thick)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 1 pound long pasta (spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine or or gluten-free pasta)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14 ounces soft tofu
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2½ teaspoons sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish


For the Shiitake Bacon:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms with oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning frequently with a spatula, until lightly browned and crisp.

For the Pasta Carbonara:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
  3. Drain and return to the pot.
  4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add onion and let cook until soft. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. In a blender, combine onion, garlic, tofu, water, lemon juice, and salt.
  8. Process on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes.
  9. Add sauce to pasta and toss to coat.
  10. Season with pepper and add more salt to taste.
  11. Let pasta sit for about 5 minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly.
  12. Top with Shiitake Bacon and parsley and serve.

If the sauce thickens too much as it sits, reconstitute the pasta by adding a little water or nondairy milk. Stir over medium heat until smooth. Adjust seasoning again to taste.



EntreesAlicia Uhl