Cheese, mushroom and tomato penne traditional carbonara

Just a quick post today to highlight this quick and easy, but really delicious meal we’ve enjoyed together.

I love mushrooms, I love cheese and I love pasta – this is what happens when you put them all together!

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To make the carbonara we’re using the traditional method of adding egg yolks to the final dish when you’ve taken it off the heat. The residual heat is plenty to cook the egg yolk safely, and it creates a gorgeous sticky coating all over the pasta combining with the cheese for a really rich sauce.

Recipe info:

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes (mostly spent boiling pasta)

Difficulty: very easy!

Serves: 2-3 with the below ingredients, easily multiplies up for a bigger meal

Calories per serving: 500 calories per person with an average serving of pasta

Ingredients

150g chestnut mushrooms, sliced roughly (serves 2-3 people)

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic

40-50g of creamy blue cheese, I’ve used Saint Agur. This recipe also works (with a more traditional carbonara flavour) with parmesan

2 egg yolks

Splash of olive oil

Cherry tomatoes, halved

Fresh dill, a handful or so

Method:

  1. First get your pasta boiling, add a little salt to the water if you like. When the pasta is done reserve the drained off starchy water as you’ll use this at the end to loosen the sauce up a little.
  2. Chop your onion roughly into fairly small pieces, add to your pan with our garlic (crushed or finely chopped) on a moderate heat with a splash of olive oil to brown off.
  3. Now slice your mushrooms into medium thickness slices, measure out your cheese, roughly chop your dill.
  4. Add your mushrooms to the pan until they too start to brown and sweat.
  5. Crumble in around 2/3rds of the cheese, add the tomatoes (halved) and dill. It will start to melt and sizzle and smoke pretty quickly, keep stirring and on heat for 30 seconds and let the mixture coat the mushrooms evenly.
  6. Now take off the heat, add the pasta and the egg yolks and stir to prevent the eggs scrambling. Add a little of the starchy water if you want more ‘sauce’ or don’t if you’re happy with the sticky rich consistency this method naturally gives.
  7. Finally, spoon out into bowls, top with a little more cheese and dill and enjoy!

Serving suggestions:

You can also add some spinach leaves, or other steamed green veg (like asparagus, brocolli etc).

Stirred through pasta with cherry tomatoes and a little parmesan makes a great dinner option.

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