Spaghetti Carbonara with Portabella Mushrooms and Smoked Mozzarella
Traditional spaghetti carbonara goes vegetarian with caramelized portabella mushrooms and a generous amount of smoked mozzarella and parmesan cheese. I promise. No one will miss the bacon.
Spaghetti Carbonara is without a doubt one of my favorite pasta dishes. You just can’t go wrong with eggs, bacon, and cheese. For this vegetarian version, I wanted to find a way to retain the smokey flavor that traditional spaghetti carbonara gets from bacon. Caramelized portabella mushrooms impart a bit of smoky flavor and give the dish some meatiness. But, the addition of smoked mozzarella is what takes this dish from a vegetarian “knock off” to something that deserves its own category.
Meal Plans that Include Vegetarian Spaghetti Carbonara:
- 10 oz dried spaghetti noodles (see note)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped shallot
- 1/2 – 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how much heat you prefer)
- 8 oz portabella mushrooms – chopped if large, sliced if using baby portabellas
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 4 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
- 7 oz smoked mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 5 oz grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- Fill a large saucepan with water, set it over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Add about 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta’s cooking water.
- Pour the olive oil into a large skillet or saucepan and set over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, until the shallots are just beginning to brown. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are a deep brown. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to combine. Remove from the heat.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk with the smoked mozzarella to combine. Slowly whisk in the reserved pasta cooking water.
- Set the pan with the pasta back on the burner, with the heat set to medium-low. Pour in the egg and cheese mixture, stirring constantly to melt the cheese and cook the eggs. Stir in the grated parmesan and cook, stirring constantly until melted.
- Remove from the heat, sprinkle with chopped parsley, and serve.
Homemade fresh pasta is also delicious in this dish. If you’ve never made homemade pasta but want to try your hand at it, here’s a pasta making picture tutorial that will take you through the process, step-by-step.