I want to start off by saying that I know this is not a true carbonara, and that there is no such thing as ‘mushroom carbonara’ or ‘vegetarian carbonara’ – a true carbonara consists of pasta with egg yolks, guanciale and Pecorino Romano (my extra rich version here, has probably already angered someone out there hehe). Having said that, I didn’t really know in what other way I could describe the delicious velvety egg sauce that this pasta dish here is coated in other than to refer to it as somehow related to, or inspired by a carbonara.
Sure, it’s got yellowfoot mushrooms instead of fatty guanciale, and a nutty Parmigiano Reggiano instead of a salty sheep-milk Pecorino, but there is that rich, velvety, almost-creamy (but not cream-based!) sauce that makes this dish just as comforting and moreish as a true carbonara. For now, let’s just leave it at that. Here’s my recipe for ‘spaghetti with yellowfoot mushrooms and egg and Parmigiano Reggiano sauce’. Hmmm doesn’t quite roll of the tongue that, but sure tastes delicious.
Note: While this dish does not use meat, real Parmigiano-Reggiano is technically not vegetarian because it is produced with rennet (which is usually procured from cow’s stomachs and thus involves the killing of animals). As such, look for a ‘vegetarian’ Parmesan, or other hard cheese if you are looking to make this a strictly vegetarian dish.
Spaghetti with Egg and Yellowfoot Mushrooms / Spaghetti Uova e Funghi (Mushroom Carbonara)
- 350g spaghetti, or spaghettoni
- 1 whole egg + 3 egg yolks
- 75g Parmigiano Regianno, freshly grated
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 150g Yellowfoot Mushroom (winter chanterelle)
- 25g butter
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the fresh egg and egg yolks, grated Parmigianp Reggiano cheese, and a good amount of freshly cracked black pepper. Set aside.
- In a big pot, bring water to a boil. When the water is boiling add a generous amount of salt (it should be as salty as the sea). Cook spaghetti al dente in the big pot of generously salted water.
- While your pasta is boiling, heat olive oil in a large frying pan and add the cleaned yellowfoot mushrooms. Season the mushrooms with a little salt and pepper and sauté until cooked for a few minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Drain the spaghetti, but reserve about 100ml of the cooking liquid. Add the drained pasta to the frying pan with the cooked mushrooms. Stir.
- Add the butter to the pan with the pasta and mushrooms. Stir until butter has dissolved.
- Make sure your frying pan has been off the heat for at least a minute or two before pouring your egg and cheese mixture onto the pasta. Once you do, stir until the sauce starts to form a nice glossy coating around the pasta. If the mixture seems too dry, add some of the reserved cooking liquid from the pasta.
- Serve immediately and sprinkle on some extra cheese and freshly cracked pepper.