Traditionally, carbonaras are made with salty or smoked meats like bacon, pancetta or guanciale. In this vegetarian alternative, I use halloumi to provide the necessary flavour and textures you expect.
- 450g spaghetti or tagliatelle
- 100mls double cream
- 150g Halloumi
- 100g grated smoked cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 150g spinach
- 100g sugar snap peas
- 100g courgette
- 100g cooked edamame beans
- 3 garlic cloves finely grated or crushed
- Grated Parmesan (Optional)
- 1 x fresh lemon (Optional)
- Paprika (Optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Cooking oil
Cook the pasta al dente in some salted water. Drain it and set aside for later. You can sweat down the spinach in the same cookware at this point, and add it to the pasta. Prepare the sugar snaps and courgette by chopping them to bite size pieces. Next, shallow fry them and once they're on their way add a few pinches of paprika. Season well with salt and pepper. I prefer to leave these vegetables slightly undercooked so there's more of a bite to the dish. Once they're done, move them to a bowl for later.
Slice the halloumi into long pieces and fry without oil until they're just about to brown. Halloumi will fry well in its own liquid on a non-stick pan.
Warm the double cream in a saucepan. Do not allow to simmer or boil, only warm. Add the grated garlic and add the grated cheese bit by bit until it melts in. Add some freshly ground black pepper. Once that completes, take it off the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Beat the two eggs together and add bit by bit into this mix until the egg combines with the creamy mixture.
Take the pasta with the spinach and add the vegetables, including the cooked edamame beans. Add the fried halloumi too. Pour the creamy sauce and combine everything together. Serve in shallow bowls with freshly grated parmesan and lemon juice.
Swaps: Fresh or frozen garden peas can replace any of the vegetables.