Recipe: Mushroom 'Carbonara'

We’ve called this carbonara as it uses the carbonara method of tossing pasta in eggs and cheese to make a rich sauce. However the recipe is meat-free, and instead uses fresh and dried mushrooms together to give a fabulous depth of flavour.


Ingredients Serves: 4

  • 25g Sous Chef dried wild mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 2 banana shallots, finely chopped
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked from stems
  • 350g dried spaghetti
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100g Pecorino, finely grated (or vegetarian hard cheese)
  • Small pack of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Fine sea salt to season

Method

  1. Pour just-boiled water over the wild mushrooms and leave to soak for 10 minutes.
  2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a wide, high-sided frying pan over a medium heat and cook the shallots with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes, until softened.
  4. Lift the wild mushrooms from the soaking liquid with a slotted spoon - saving the liquid - and roughly chop.
  5. Add the butter, chopped wild mushrooms and chestnut mushrooms to the frying pan and cook on a high heat until golden.
  6. Add the garlic and thyme with a small pinch of salt and cook for a further minute. Add a splash of the mushroom soaking liquid and keep on a low heat.
  7. In a small jug, mix the eggs with the Pecorino (reserving some to garnish) with a good pinch of salt & pepper. The Pecorino will be quite salty, so go easy with the salt - you can always add more later.
  8. Reserve a ladle of the pasta cooking water, then drain the spaghetti and quickly add it to the mushroom pan along with the egg mixture. Add a splash of pasta water and stir and toss together. Keep lifting the pasta up so that it's evenly coated and so the egg mixture doesn't scramble. Add more pasta water to loosen it if needed - the sauce should be moist but not wet.
  9. Stir through the parsley and season to taste. Divide between 4 plates, top with the extra grated Pecorino and serve.


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