In today’s post I have a delicious recipe for Vegetarian Fettuccine Carbonara with Mushrooms and a cookbook giveaway for you all!

black bowl with swirls of pasta carbonara with mushrooms

Ciao, my healthy food loving friends! I am finding it hard to believe that it has been a whole week since we got back from Italy. It seems more like two days. In my defense, the fist few days back was a blur of coffee swilling jet lagged confusion, which also included the whole family getting out of bed before 4 am.

Also, two days after hitting terra firma here in Vermont, there was the fact that my husband turned 40, so of course there needed to be a big party for him. Then there was our wedding anniversary a day or two after that. The rest of this week, we’ve been getting back into the swing of things. Back to school shopping, back to school television appearances, getting back to the gym, returning millions of emails, catching up on play-dates for the kids, planning out my fall recipe development schedule.

We’re calling this period “re-entry.” As all of this is so far removed from what it was like for the four of us to travel in Italy. No espresso shop on every corner, no more friendly Italian waiters bringing us plate after plate of burrata with truffles, bruschetta, or spaghetti amatriciana. No more wandering cobblestoned streets, gazing at frescos, nibbling on Pignoli Cookies and drinking espresso nor bartering with vendors at street stalls. Its been a bit rough by comparison.

city skyline

farmers market

fresh produce at market

fresh pasta in baskets
Thank goodness my friend, registered dietitian and vegetarian food blogger Alexandra Caspero Lenz, R.D. just wrote a cookbook chock full of delicious meatless and healthy Italian recipes called Fresh Italian Cooking for the New Generation. She sent me a copy of it to check out just in the nick of time.

It’s filled with beautiful photographs, and so many recipes I want to try. First on my list was this vegetarian fettuccine carbonara made with meaty mushrooms and caramelized shallots instead of the traditional pancetta.

When we were in Italy, we had carbonara several times. And another similar dish with pecorino and black pepper. Aaaaand there was also pappardelle pasta with porcinis (did I mention I ate my weight in pasta while in Italia?). Alexandra’s healthier take on carbonara was exactly what I hoped it would be, creamy and saucy, full of flavor. Just right to ease the pain of re-entry.

I had never made carbonara before, as I’d always been afraid to end up with scrambled eggs or uncooked eggs, so I was pleased to learn that it is not hard at all. The only trick, if you can even call it one, is to make sure that your pasta and sauce are done at the same time. The hot pasta and sauce cook the egg as you stir the egg in, so it’s important that they are piping hot.

Fresh Italian Cooking cookbook cover

How to Make Vegetarian Carbonara

Making this vegetarian fettuccine carbonara couldn’t be simpler! The steps for making creamy carbonara pasta in the comfort of your own kitchen are as follows:

1. Cook pasta until al dente — Make sure to salt the pasta water generously before throwing in the pasta. This will make the dish taste better overall. You also need to save about 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water for later.

2. Saute the vegetables — Oil a large skillet and turn the burner to medium heat. Add in the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until it turns a lovely brown color. Add in the rest of the veggies and spices and continue cooking until the mushrooms are soft and brown.

3. Add the pasta to the veggies — Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the skillet of veggies. Immediately add in a mixture of whisked egg and Parmesan cheese and give everything a good stir to combine. The hot pasta and veggies will cook the egg without scrambling it!

a black bowl of pasta on a table with a bottle of red wine

What to Serve with Fettuccine Carbonara

The great thing about pasta is that it’s quick to make and can be served simply with a side salad or fresh veggies. A few healthy sides you could serve alongside this vegetarian fettuccine carbonara include Overnight Kale Caesar Salad, Simple Heirloom Tomato Salad, and Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Hazelnuts and Feta. Or keep things super simple and cut up some fresh greens and top them with a little Balsamic Vinaigrette or Olive and Basil Vinaigrette. This vegetarian carbonara is a knockout recipe, so you really don’t need to do anything fancy with the sides.

How to Reheat Pasta Without Making it Rubbery

This recipe uses a half pound of pasta, so it’s very likely that you’ll have leftovers. If that’s the case, avoid reheating the fettuccine carbonara in the microwave. This will make the pasta slightly rubbery and will dry out that gorgeous creamy vegetarian carbonara sauce. Instead, portion out the amount of pasta you’d like into a small saucepan. Add a drizzle of water to the pan as well, then cover it with a lid and turn the stovetop on to a low heat. It will take a few minutes to reheat the pasta, but it tastes so much better when warmed up this way.

More Italian Recipes You’ll Love:

Thanks so much for reading. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review!

Happy cooking!



Vegetarian Fettuccine Carbonara Recipe

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This delicious vegetarian fettuccine carbonara with mushrooms is easy to make and creamy. Bonus: it’s actually good for you!



  • 8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin live oil
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 10 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When water boils, cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta cooking water. Drain thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook, stirring often until browned and caramelized 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, mushrooms, red pepper, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until the mushrooms are soft and browned, about 10 minutes.
  4. Whisk egg and ½ cup Parmesan in a small bowl.
  5. Add the hot pasta to the mushroom mixture and stir to combine. Add the egg mixture and a little of the hot pasta cooking liquid if necessary to thin the sauce if necessary.
  6. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.


  • Serving Size: 4 servings
  • Calories: 326
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 237 mg
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 46 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Protein: 17 g
Pasta Carbonara and Fettuccine photo collage with text