I love Italian cooking. As a Vegan, it can be challenging to pick up an arbitrary recipe though since so many have cheese or pork ingredients. I learned about how to work around and substitute some of these ingredients from Nonna's Italian Kitchen, and from traveling to Italy in 2000, but the dish I keep coming back to is Roman pasta. Two Washington Post articles reminded me of the simple but super flavorful cooking I had when I was actually in Rome, and then I started experimenting in the kitchen.


Put a pot of salted boiling water on the stove to boil for the pasta - be generous with the salt here.

Dice the onion and garlic.

Chop large leaves of greens into 1" pieces.

Cook a package of veggie bacon in one half of a large cast iron skillet and a diced onion in the other half, over medium high heat, until onions are transparent and veggie bacon begins to brown.

Add minced garlic and (optional) hot pepper and stir.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente.

(Optional) Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to shrink, about 3 minutes.

Add 8-16oz of chopped greens and 2 cups of vegetable broth. Cover for 5 minutes.

Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Drain the pasta but do not rinse. Add the pasta to the cast iron skillet and toss with the contents. Add the grated vegan cheese and 1 cup of the reserved cooking water. Cover and cook over low heat for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat, add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, and serve hot.