Three Mushrooms Carbonara
Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish which its sauce is made out of Guanciale or any fatty pork meat, cheese, egg yolk and lots of black pepper. Contrary to its name Carbonara from the word carbon, the dish is not black in color but mostly white. There are a lot of stories on how it originated. Some Italians think it was a dish for coal miners during the early days hence the name, others think it was prepared on charcoal grills but some also suggest that the orginal recipe have a lot of black pepper on it giving the black color. But irregardless of what the history is, I like this dish a lot!
Since this is one of my favourites if it is offered in a restaurant I will definitely try it, and here are the carbonara versions of different restaurants that top my list.
- Cafe Valentinos (Christchurch, NZ) – I cant remember if they call it carbonara but this restaurant is the winner of the Gold Plate Award of Excellence and Multiple Winner of Beef & Lamb Marketing Bureau awards so definitely they know what they are doing.
- Gina’s (Auckland, NZ) – Have a Gold Award Finalist in Best Casual Dining 2009 and Won the best Ambience & Style 2006. Their carbonara is really simple, real Italian, not a lot of ingredients but its really tasty.
- The Cheesecake Factory (San Francisco, US) – really creamy, flavourful and good serving size (yeah thats the American way).
There are two types of carbonara, First is the Italian version which uses egg yolks as its sauce and the American version which uses cream for its sauce, and this post is my own version which is a combination of both where I use cream and egg yolks for the sauce.
400g Vermicelli Pasta or Angel Hair Pasta or any pasta thinner than Spaghetti no 5
200g Pancetta or Bacon, roughly chopped
100g farmers brown mushrooms, sliced
100g white button mushrooms, sliced
100g shitake mushrooms, sliced
3 medium size eggs
100ml white wine (chardonnay, specially Meursaults as is has that distinctive buttery flavour)
6 cloves garlic minced
3 stalks flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 small red onion minced
freshly black pepper
shaved parmesan cheese
- In a separate pot boil Pasta with oil and salt for 4 minutes or until Al dente (firm), this will be faster compared to spaghetti noodles as it is thinner. No need to cook fully as you will further process the pasta.
- While Pasta is cooking, In a separate pan fry bacons or pancetta in olive oil until crispy. Remore from pan and set aside.
- Using the same pan add butter then saute garlic and onion.
- Bring the heat to medium-high then add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
- At this time the pasta is cooked, now place it on the pan mixing it with the bacon and mushroom mixture. Put heat on high.
- Add white wine and mix, let it vigoriusly boil for 30 seconds.
- Add cream and let it boil for another 30 seconds.
- Add parsley and lots of freshly ground pepper.
- Beat eggs, turn the heat off. Add dash of salt and the beaten eggs to the pasta while still piping hot, mix it fast enough to prevent overcooking of the eggs. You need the eggs to make the sauce thick.
- Top with shaved parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread or focaccia.