Vegan Pasta Hollandaise with Asparagus and „Bacon“

It's spring, we're in the middle of asparagus season, and you're thinking: boiled asparagus with potatoes? Been there, done that, I need a change! Well, we're happy to deliver it to you straight away in the form of this pasta hollandaise with asparagus, vegan bacon and a crunchy breadcrumb topping.

As you can see, this is a deconstructed asparagus classic that has been wildly mixed up. But once you've eaten your forkful of noodles coated in a buttery, creamy hollandaise sauce, you'll realize that it evokes all the lovely feelings of asparagus season but adds something different and unique to the whole thing. Let's go through the individual components.

The pasta: As we are dealing with a rather heavy pasta sauce here, you are welcome to choose a pasta that can stand up to the sauce. This means not necessarily spaghetti or farfalle but wider or thicker, tubular pasta. For long pasta, this could be pappardelle, mafaldine or bucatini, for example. If you prefer shorter pasta, then try paccheri, tortellini or rigatoni. Today is a good day to pay attention to a special type of pasta that is outside your standard repertoire.

The hollandaise sauce: Hollandaise is a really intense, buttery and creamy sauce. However, we don't want to stretch it and make it lighter for this pasta, but rather provide a few counterweights with the toppings – see below. Of course, you could use less vegan butter. You could reverse the vegetable stock to soy cream ratio and leave out the nut butter. I also tried all of this during the test cooking, but we're not cooking a cream sauce here, but a hollandaise. I prefer to stick to the ingredients and quantities that make the sauce as intense and creamy as I love it.

The asparagus: This isn't a hot take, secret, or even a widely held opinion: I just don't like white asparagus that much. I do eat it sometimes, but if I have the choice, I'd rather go for green (or even purple) asparagus. First of all, it's much easier to prepare because you don't have to peel it entirely, but often just cut or clip off the end. It is cooked through more quickly, tastes a little stronger, is firmer to the bite and adds color to the plate. Of course, you can also use white asparagus in this recipe if you prefer it.

The vegan bacon: There are now a few vegan bacon alternatives on the market, but as not everyone can find them in the supermarket around the corner, I'm making a variation with sun-dried tomatoes today, which I particularly like because it has more bite. All you have to do is fry the sun-dried tomatoes with a little soy sauce and, optionally, smoke flavoring – it doesn't taste exactly like bacon. Still, it has many characteristics you would expect from it: saltiness, umami and a smoky note. This is really necessary so that you have something to counter the creamy hollandaise—store-bought vegan bacon alternatives work just as well, of course.

The crispy breadcrumb topping: The first time I ate toasted breadcrumbs on asparagus, it was like a little epiphany. They just go so well with it and are almost more important to me than the bacon as a garnish because they add a completely different texture. That's why they couldn't be missing from this pasta dish as a kind of "cheese substitute."

R895 Pasta Hollandaise with Asparagus and „Bacon“
R895 Pasta Hollandaise with Asparagus and „Bacon“
R895 Pasta Hollandaise with Asparagus and „Bacon“

Pasta Hollandaise with Asparagus and „Bacon“

2 servings
45 minutes


For the pasta:

  • 250 g (9 oz) pasta (e.g. paccheri)
  • 500 g (17.5 oz) green asparagus
  • 0.5 lemon (juice)
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • salt
  • pepper

For the hollandaise sauce:

  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp wheat flour (type 405)
    -100 ml (0.5 cup) vegetable stock
  • 250 ml (1 cup) plant-based cream
  • 50 ml (0.25 cup) light almond butter or cashew butter
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 0.5 lemon (juice and zest)
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • turmeric

For the vegan bacon:

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • soy sauce
  • liquid smoke

For the crispy breadcrumb topping:

  • 50 g (1.75 oz) panko breadcrumbs (or breadcrumbs)
  • 3 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 5 g (0.25 oz) parsley
  • lemon zest
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Melt two tablespoons of vegan butter in a pan and stir in the flour thoroughly with a whisk. Then, pour in the vegetable stock and keep stirring so no lumps form. Add the plant-based cream, nut butter, nutritional yeast, mustard, and half a lemon juice. Allow the sauce to simmer and thicken until it reaches the desired consistency. Finally, remove from the heat, stir in the remaining tablespoon of vegan butter and season the sauce with salt, pepper and lemon zest.

  2. Heat a pan over low to medium heat for the crispy breadcrumb topping. Toast the panko or breadcrumbs together with the chopped hazelnuts for 4–5 minutes until both are golden brown. Grate in a small clove of garlic and heat for a further 2–3 minutes. Then remove the pan from the heat and mix the crispy topping with the chopped parsley. Season to taste with lemon zest, salt and pepper and set aside.

3 If necessary, cut or break off the woody ends of the green asparagus. Cut the asparagus spears diagonally into small pieces. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium to high heat and fry the asparagus pieces for about 5 minutes until they are well browned. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little lemon juice. Then, set aside.

  1. Cut the dried tomatoes into slightly smaller pieces and then fry them in a large pan for about 3–4 minutes – as they were previously soaked in oil, you don't need to add any additional frying oil. Add the soy sauce and liquid smoke and fry the tomatoes for a further 1–2 minutes. Then, remove from the heat and fry again.

5 In the meantime, bring salted water to the boil in a pot and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet until it is al dente.

  1. Mix the cooked pasta with the vegan hollandaise sauce, toss well and season again. Then, add the asparagus pieces and mix them together. Serve on plates and sprinkle with the vegan bacon and crispy breadcrumb topping.
R895 Pasta Hollandaise with Asparagus and „Bacon“
R895 Pasta Hollandaise with Asparagus and „Bacon“
R895 Pasta Hollandaise with Asparagus and „Bacon“

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