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Miso Mushroom Carbonara

For the base...

This dish features a mix of dried and fresh mushrooms. For the dried mushrooms, steep a couple of tablespoons in about 1 cup of hot water for 10-20 minutes to soften and extract the flavor. Do not drain the liquid! Separately, mince 1 shallot and 5 garlic cloves, and thinly slice 8 ounces of fresh mushrooms (I used a wild mushroom medley).

For the sauce…

While the mushrooms are soaking, whisk together 4 egg yolks and 1 whole egg with 1 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, salt, and pepper. When the mushrooms have cooled (they must not be hot!) and softened, remove from the liquid and finely mince. Gradually add ½ of the soaking liquid to the egg base, whisking vigorously to combine. Finish with a dash or two of heavy cream (optional).


For the pasta…

This dish is all about the sauce, so I used a version of my usual egg pasta dough and made a thick tagliatelle. Flour it well to prevent sticking and set aside.

Time to assemble…

Cook the fresh mushrooms in 1-2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat, until nicely browned on both sides, stirring occasionally, 5-8 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of mild white miso paste with the shallot and garlic, stir to combine (make sure to coat the mushrooms and aromatics with the miso), and cook briefly until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the remaining mushroom soaking liquid and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Finishing touches…

Cook pasta in well-salted water until just cooked through and add directly to the pan with the mushrooms, along with ½ cup pasta water. Toss to coat, cook 1 minute, remove from heat, and allow to cool for about 2 minutes to prevent the egg base from scrambling. Add another ½ cup warm pasta water (again, it shouldn’t be scalding!) to the egg base and whisk vigorously to loosen the mixture. Gradually add the eggs to the pan with the pasta and mushrooms and toss thoroughly to combine--a velvety sauce should emerge!


To serve…

To make it extra luxurious, serve pasta with another egg yolk on top, along with flat leaf parsley and black pepper. Break into that yolk and enjoy immediately!


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