Vegetarian Carbonara

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Serves 3-4


1 small onion, sliced
3 Tbsp olive oil
450g kale or other collard green, washed and thinly shredded
1 tsp smoked paprika (pimentón)
350g spaghetti or other long pasta
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and black pepper, to taste


Vegetarian carbonara with collard greens is a healthy twist on an easy-to-make family favourite.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add a more than decent pinch of rock salt and then, when boiled, add your pasta.
  2. In a large sauté pan, warm the oil over medium-low heat and add the onion. Let them slowly sweat.
  3. Meanwhile wash and shred the kale or other collard green of your choice. Remove any big and obvious chunks of stem.
  4. In a bowl, beat together the eggs with the cheese, a good pinch of salt, and plenty of black pepper.
  5. Turn the heat up on the onions to medium-high and add the smoked paprika and shredded kale. Give it all a good stir fry, and add a dash or two of water to help the paprika fry nicely with the other ingredients. Add more salt at this stage if required.
  6. Cook the pasta until al dente and then drain, saving a cup of the cooking water to thicken your sauce.
  7. Toss the pasta into the veggie mixture and give it a good mix.
  8. Off the heat, add the egg mixture and stir vigorously, letting the heat from the pasta thicken the eggs.  Add a little of the cooking water to thicken the sauce if needed.
  9. Taste, adjust seasoning with salt, pepper or cheese, and serve.


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  1. This was delicious! I made a couple changes – added two crushed garlic cloves to the onions, and extra eggs and Parmesan. Yum!