Pasta Carbonara with Mushrooms

creamy pasta
In 2008 I was backpacking around Europe and some of the odd items in my backpack were jeans of three different sizes.  I had plans to eat all my way around Europe and knew my waist line would suffer some serious variations.

My last stop was Italy and I confess that I almost had to buy a fourth jeans there :-)  Every city in Italy seems to have a different pasta specialty and it would be very rude of me not trying every single one of them!

La Pasta Carbonara is a Rome icon and always brings me lovely memories from friends and unforgettable places.

My version of Carbonara has Paris mushrooms on it - the original one doesn't. I just love shrooms and thought it was a good addiction (please please Italians that are reading this post, don't hate me!!

It will literally take 15 min to make.  The secret is coordinate things:  fry the pancetta while the water for cooking the pasta is heating, prepare the cream while the pasta is cooking, finish up when the pasta is cooked and still hot.   

It has to be eaten immediately.   Make just enough as leftovers are not good:  if you reheat you will completely cook the yolks and will end up with an "omelet pasta".   

Serve with a fresh green leaf salad aside and a glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.

Pasta Carbonara with Mushrooms 

Prep Cooking Total Serves Difficulty
15 min 15 min 15 min 4 Easy
Author: Rachel Elich      Rate the Recipe: 

  • 200g Long Pasta (eg. Spaguetti, Fetucchinni)
  • 100g Diced Pancetta
  • 8 yolks
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Cream
  • 1 Cup Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1 Cup Sliced Paris Mushrooms
  • 1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to your taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspooon Fresh Thyme leaves
  • 2l Water
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Salt to Taste
  • Shaved Parmesan to serve
Pasta Carbonara
  1. Bring the Water to boil in a large pan, add some salt to the water and cook the pasta according to the pasta brand instructions.
  2. Heat the Olive Oil into a large skillet and fry the pancetta over medium-heat stirring occasionally until done.   
  3. While the pasta cooks and the pacetta fries, in a bowl mix the egg yolks, the cheese, the cream, the thyme, the pepper, the nutmeg and salt until well combined.
  4. Add the Mushrooms to the skillet when the pancetta is almost done and cook it for a couple of minutes.
  5. When the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta.
  6. Transfer the Pasta immediately to the skillet with the pancetta and the mushrooms. 
  7. Toss the Pasta and turn off the heat. 
  8. Pour the yolk and cream mixture over the Pasta and toss all the ingredients, stirring well - the heat of the pasta will slightly cook the mixture but it will still be creamy.
  9. Taste the pasta and add salt and black pepper, if necessary.
  10. Serve immediately topped with some shaved Parmesan.  

Warning: This recipe contains lightly cooked eggs and therefore should not be consumed by pregnants,  immune-deficient people, elders and young kids.  


Rachel Elich is a globetrotting, computer engineer, project manager, designer, untamed cook extraordinaire who backpacks around the world. Along the way on adventures, Rachel has adopted and incorporated international influences into all aspects of her creative work endeavours.

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