Sharp Knife

Linguine alla “Carbonara”

Spring : Salads :: Fall : COMFORT FOODS!

There is something about this time of year that makes me yearn for the foods I had growing up, those items that make me regress back to being south of my teens. There are a number of dishes my mom made while I was still at home that I have been working on converting to vegetarian dishes and this is one of them. I will be honest that this was probably the easiest dish to convert, however switching the one meat item for the veggie item in a way “destroys” this dish as far as my Italian brethren are concerned. So as a quick and easy disclaimer: yes I understand that by removing the pork this dish is no longer a true Carbonara. I have also had some heated discussions regarding the use of half & half in this dish and if that is or isn’t authentic. After much googling it seems that it might be a regional dish, but since I am being true to the dish I grew up with I kept it in. However to the people on certain blogs claiming that cream doesn’t go with garlic, I just have to say you are missing on because garlic goes with everything. So without further stalling here is my mom’s vegetarianized Carbonara dish.
– 1 tsp Olive Oil
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 lb baby bella mushrooms, diced
– half onion, diced
– 1 cup half & half
– 2 eggs
– 1 cup parm cheese. grated
– 1 lb pasta, linguine or fettuccine

1. Cook the pasta according to directions on box until al dente.  Drain and return to pot.
2. Meanwhile heat the olive oil is a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the mushroom, garlic, and onion and cook for 10minutes stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside
3. Mix the eggs and the parmesan cheese until well blended.  Add the half & half, mixing well.  Pour this mixture into the pan containing the cooked pasta noodles.  Stir well until fully mixed, DO NOT let the eggs become scrambled!!!  Add in the mushroom and onion mixture and turn heat to low.  Cook for 10minutes or until the sauce is nice and warm and cheesy. Serve!

This dish is extremely easy to prepare and the only tricky section is just making sure that the eggs don’t scramble when being added to the pasta.  I have never managed to do this, but my roommate in college did so I know that it can be done.  For those looking to make this dish in the other traditional method, substitute the cream with some of the water used for cooking the pasta if you are wanting a thinner sauce.  One of the best things about all Italian dishes is that they allow for so many variations in order to perfect it for the individual.

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