Mushroom Carbonara

The first time I tried Carbonara was during my ’88 vacation to Greece and in particular, Corfu. It’s become quite the popular dish as it’s easy, filling and cheap on the pocketbook.

Carbonara is a traditional Italian pasta sauce . It’s name comes from carbone, which is for Italian coal, and many believe the dish derives its name because it was popular among charcoal makers. Others believe, however, that the dish is called carbonara simply because of the black, freshly milled pepper that is used.

I thought of this variation today and I hope you try it out! This is one of the many sauces I like as they are usually ready by the time your pasta is done. Other than the salted pasta, salt is absent as the cheese and bacon season this dish.

Mushroom Carbonara (for 2)

3/4 cup sliced mushrooms 3 strips of bacon, diced ( or Pancetta)
1 diced shallot
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup of white wine

2 tsp fresh thyme

1/3 cup whipping cream

2 eggs, beaten

lots of cracked black pepper
2 scallions, chopped (white and green parts separated)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pasta of choice (linguine, spaghetti, fettucine)

  1. In a large pot, fill it with water and get the water to a boil with the lid closed. When you get a boil, season with salt (as salty as the sea is) and throw in your pasta of choice. Boil as per instructions on the package.
  2. While your pasta is boiling, you can make your sauce. In a pan, throw in your diced bacon and some water on high heat. The water will boil the bacon and help you render and give you crispier bacon. When the bacon is crispy. Reserve with a slotted spoon. You may remove the bacon fat & replace with olive oil if you wish.
  3. Add your shallots, the white parts of your green onions and mushrooms and simmer for 3-5 minutes (medium heat). Add your wine, garlic and thyme. Allow the wine to reduce for 2 minutes and take your pan off the heat.
  4. In a bowl, whisk your eggs, cream, black pepper and cheese until well mixed and reserve.
  5. When your pasta is done “al dente”, scoop some pasta water out and reserve. Strain your pasta and then add it to your sauce. Add some of the reserved pasta water (this process will temper your sauce )plus your egg-cream mixture and the green parts of your scallions. Use the residual heat of the closed burner you used to boil your pasta to toss your pasta and sauce (high heat will cause you to have scrambled eggs).

© 2007,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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6 Comments for “Mushroom Carbonara”

Georgia

says:

I love, love, love spaghetti carbonara. Growing up, my mom used to make it all the time and as a kid, one of my favorite memories was to watch her cooking the bacon, just hoping she would give me a little piece (which she usually did). As we got older and more health conscious, she switched to ham (still good). But, there’s nothing better than some good, bacony, carbonara…now I just need to make some :) I will try your recipe and see how it compares to mom’s!

Katerina

says:

I love carbonara too, I generally don’t add cream as I think it is all about the egg-y flavour but this looks good! I have actuavlly been craving a carbonara…

Peter M

says:

Katerina, on a purists POV for carbonara, you’re right, no cream but I’m just a greek dude tryin’ make something Italian! lol

Laura

says:

Italian girl wrinting ;-)
Not to say anything “against” your personal interpretation of Carbonara – which sound really yummy to me, even accounting for the “sin of cream” ;-)
But… another explanation of the origin of the word Carbonara goes back to the “Carbonari”, a secret organization that fought to create the united Italy around mid-19th century, if I recall correctly… Apparently the simple ingredients needed to prepare carbonara made it the perfect plate for people hiding away!

Peter M

says:

It’s all good Laura & I like the story…Italian nationalists uniting through….food!