Mushroom Carbonara with Orecchiette

I found one additional recipe that I’ve been waiting to share from Bon Appétit’s popular recipe list. Most of these popular recipes are comfort food dishes- no surprise!

This vegetarian carbonara has wonderful rich flavor from the deeply browned mushrooms combined with shallots and garlic. Genius. The luxurious sauce is made with the traditional Italian method, using egg yolks and cheese. This recipe is from Bon Appétit, contributed by Molly Baz. Very nice.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs crimini or button mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 1 cup parsley leaves with tender stems (about ½ bunch)
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups (4 oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more
  • 4 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb orecchiette
  1. Fill a large pot with water and season well with a few big pinches of salt. Bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, tear off and discard stems of mushrooms, then tear them into quarters (or in halves if small). Transfer to a medium bowl.
  3. Lightly smash and peel the garlic cloves, then thinly slice.
  4. Peel and finely chop the shallots.
  5. Coarsely chop the parsley.
  6. Whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, Parmesan, and freshly ground black pepper in another medium bowl; set aside.
  7. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high for a good 3 minutes. You want to get the pan very hot since adding the mushrooms is going to lower the temperature of the surface of the pan.
  8. Toss mushrooms and 4 T extra-virgin olive oil once in pan to coat in oil. Cook, tossing once every 4–5 minutes (but mostly undisturbed), until mushrooms are mostly golden brown, 13–16 minutes. This will take some time and they will let out a lot of moisture before they start to brown.
  9. Once mushrooms have been cooking for about 10 minutes, put the orecchiette into boiling salted water and set a timer 2 minutes shy of al dente according to package directions.
  10. When the mushrooms are deeply browned, reduce heat to medium-low and add garlic, shallots, and 1½ teaspoons of salt. Cook, stirring often, until aromatics are softened but not browned, 30–60 seconds.
  11. When pasta is 2 minutes shy of al dente, reserve 2 cups pasta cooking liquid, then drain pasta.
  12. Add pasta along with 1 cup pasta cooking liquid to mushroom mixture. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often to finish cooking the pasta and absorb liquid, about 2 minutes (this is why you’re cooking the pasta 2 minutes shy of al dente; it allows for the flavors to meld as the pasta finishes cooking in the sauce).
  13. Remove from heat and let cool 1 minute. (Don’t skip this step—if the pasta is too hot when you add the egg mixture, it will turn into scrambled eggs instead of a luxurious sauce.)
  14. Add 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to reserved egg mixture and whisk to combine and loosen eggs.
  15. Gradually add egg mixture to pot, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed to loosen things up, until a very creamy, luscious sauce coats all noodles.
  16. Add parsley and stir again to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning for salt.
  17. Divide pasta among bowls. Top with Parmesan and a few cranks of pepper.

Balthazar’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

I was agonizing over what to make my mom for an early birthday dinner celebration. She is the most gracious guest and always says she likes everything she is served- but I wanted to make sure that she was truly pleased. Finally, I just asked her what she would like! (That was simple enough.) “Soup and salad. Perfect in the colder weather. Mushroom soup would be wonderful,” she said. I was happy to find this fabulous recipe from the Balthazar. We ate it with a sourdough baguette and green salad- of course! A Birthday pear and apple galette was our celebratory dessert. Perfect. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from The Balthazar Cookbook via Smitten Kitchen. I decreased the amount of sage, olive oil, and cream, increased the garlic, and modified the amount of each type of mushroom. Earthy and special. Happy Birthday, Mom!! ❤

  • 1 ounce dried mushrooms (porcini, morels, or shiitakes)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 large sprigs of sage
  • 1 large yellow or sweet onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 20 oz white button mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 12 oz shiitake mushrooms stemmed, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 6 cups organic chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. Soak the dry mushrooms in 1 cup of warm water for 20 to 30 minutes, until plump.
  2. Strain the soaking liquid through a coffee filter to remove grit and reserve, along with the reconstituted mushrooms, until needed.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium flame. Bundle the rosemary and sage together and tie with kitchen twine. When the oil is hot, add the herb bundle and sizzle for a few minutes on both sides to infuse the oil.
  4. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown.
  5. Turn the flame to medium high to high and add the white mushrooms and shiitakes.
  6. Cook for 10 minutes, during which the mushrooms will give off their liquid (which should evaporate quickly due to the high heat) and deflate significantly. Stir occasionally.
  7. Add the chicken stock and the dried mushrooms along with the soaking water.
  8. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the herbs, then add the cream and butter.
  9. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. (I used an immersion blender.) Return to the pot and keep at a very low simmer until ready to serve.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Easy Mushroom Lasagna

IMG_2069 This is the EASIEST lasagna recipe EVER. I had to check my recipe resource a few times (I double & triple checked!) while preparing this dish just confirm that the mushrooms did NOT have to be cooked before adding to this lasagna. The noodles didn’t have to be cooked either! I thought that the finished dish might be too saucy because of the moisture from the mushrooms, but it was perfect.

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Todd Porter and Diane Cu. I modified the recipe to use no-boil lasagna noodles. I also added garlic and used different types of mushrooms. My son had been begging for lasagna and he was quite pleased. 🙂 It was a titch too brown but it was still absolutely delicious!!

  • olive oil, for coating baking dish
  • 9 to 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • zest of 1 fresh lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced through a garlic press
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 24 to 30 ounces tomato sauce (I used Victoria brand marinara)
  • 10 ounces button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 16 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly coat a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil (or cooking oil spray) and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Spread a light layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Lay 3 to 4 lasagna noodles lengthwise over the sauce (or however they fit best in your pan).
  4. Layer one-third of the remaining tomato sauce over the lasagna noodles and then layer half of the ricotta mixture.
  5. Layer half of the mushrooms over the ricotta and then spread one-third of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat this pattern: noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese.
  6. Add a final layer of lasagna noodles and then add the remaining tomato sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese.
  7. Bake lasagna for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the top cheese is melted and golden. (Watch carefully!) 🙂
  8. Remove from oven; let cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Vegetable Strudel Casserole

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I tend to make dishes with a similar theme or flavor-profile. This dish sounded original and different- outside of the box for me. Then Nancy of Feasting with Friends Blog posted a Veggie Strudel on the same day I was making this one! So, I suppose this dish isn’t that original…. but it was tasty. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen. I modified the recipe by baking it as a casserole instead of in individual pieces- seemed much neater that way! I also modified it by increasing the mushrooms, onions, and scallions, using cauliflower instead of broccoli, and by adding green beans. I also sprayed each layer of phyllo dough with canola oil spray instead of brushing with olive oil; I did brush the top layer with olive oil prior to baking. Very nice.

  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 2 yellow onions, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 3 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2 to 3 cups chopped cauliflower or broccoli (about a generous quarter of a large head)
  • 1 cup trimmed and chopped green beans, optional
  • 10 oz button mushrooms, minced
  • 1 to 2 tsp coarse salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 10 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 3 T minced fresh dill
  • 7 scallions, greens and whites, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • 3/4 cup fine bread crumbs, separated
  • canola oil cooking spray
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound phyllo dough leaves, thawed
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (convection). Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking pan. (I use an enameled cast iron pan.)
  2. Make the Filling: Melt the butter in a Dutch oven. Add onion, and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the carrot, cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, and 1 tsp salt. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring intermittently, until the vegetables are just tender (about 5 minutes).
  3. Remove pan from heat. Stir in the caraway, garlic, lemon juice, dill, scallions, pepper, cheese, and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. Remove half of the phyllo dough leaves from the package and sandwich between two pieces of plastic wrap. Cover with a damp towel.
  5. Lay one sheet of phyllo in the oiled baking pan and lightly spray with canola oil or lightly brush with olive oil. Continue layering the sheets of dough, adding oil between each layer, until 1/2 pound of dough (1/2 package) is used.
  6. Sprinkle the stack of phyllo with the remaining 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs.
  7. Add the filling, spreading it to within 1/2 inch of the edges.
  8. Layer more phyllo dough over the filling, spraying or brushing each layer with oil. Use the entire box. Brush olive oil over the top layer.

IMG_0952

One Year Ago:

Creamy Mushroom Pappardelle

IMG_8035

I fell in love with this dish when I read about it on What Jessica Baked Next. What initially enticed me about the dish was her beautiful fresh pasta… ironically, I served a loose adaptation of her sauce over store-bought pappardelle. I really wanted to make fresh pasta but ran short on time!! It was sooooo delicious anyway. 🙂 The use of dried pasta made this a dinner-party-worthy quick weeknight meal. (The BEST combination!) I will make this sauce again and serve it with fresh pasta! Fabulous!!

Yield: Serves 6

  • 16 oz pappardelle noodles
  • 2 T avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil, more if needed
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 7 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup of freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish, if desired
  • 4 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned, and sliced
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 10 oz button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz creme fraiche
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 T potato starch
  • 1 T fresh chives, sliced into small pieces to sprinkle over the finished dish, if desired
  • freshly grated parmesan, for serving, if desired
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt.
  2. While the water is heating, heat oil in a large sauté pan. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes or until soft. Add the mushrooms; season with salt and pepper. Cook gently on a medium heat for about 5 more minutes, or until mushrooms are lightly browned. Add the parsley.
  3. Add the creme fraiche and half & half. Add the potato starch and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and gently simmer for about 10 minutes or until it has thickened and reduced somewhat. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  4. Cook the pasta in the salted boiling water according to package directions, then drain fully. Combine with mushroom sauce. Serve immediately garnished with freshly chopped parsley and/or chives and freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.

IMG_8040

One Year Ago:

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