In today’s post I have a delicious recipe for Vegetarian Fettuccine Carbonara with Mushrooms and a cookbook giveaway for you all!
Ciao my healthy food loving friends! I am finding it hard to believe that it has been a whole week since we got back from Italy. It seems more like two days. In my defense, the fist few days back was a blur of coffee swilling jet lagged confusion which also included the whole family getting out of bed before 4 am.
Also two days after hitting terra firma here in Vermont, there was the fact that my husband turned 40, so of course there needed to be a big party for him. Then there was our wedding anniversary a day or two after that. The rest of this week, we’ve been getting back into the swing of things. Back to school shopping, back to school television appearances, getting back to the gym, returning millions of emails catching up on play-dates for the kids, planning out my fall recipe development schedule.
We’re calling this period “re-entry.” As all of this is so far removed from what it was like for the four of us to travel in Italy. No espresso shop on every corner, no more friendly Italian waiters bringing us plate after plate of burrata with truffles, bruschetta or spaghetti amatriciana. No more wandering cobblestoned streets, gazing at frescos and bartering with vendors at street stalls. Its been a bit rough by comparison.
Thank goodness my friend, registered dietitian and vegetarian food blogger Alexandra Caspero Lenz, R.D. just wrote a cookbook chock full of delicious meatless and healthy Italian recipes called Fresh Italian Cooking for the New Generation. She sent me a copy of it to check out just in the nick of time.
It’s filled with beautiful photographs, and so many recipes I want to try. First on my list was this vegetarian fettuccine carbonara made with meaty mushrooms and caramelized shallots instead of the traditional pancetta.
When we were in Italy, we had carbonara several times. And another similar dish with pecorino and black pepper. Aaaaand there was also pappardelle pasta with porcinis (did I mention I ate my weight in pasta while in Italia?) Alexandra’s healthier take on carbonara was exactly what I hoped it would be, creamy and saucy, full of flavor. Just right to ease the pain of re-entry.
I had never made carbonara before, I’d always been afraid to end up with scrambled eggs or uncooked eggs, so I was pleased to learn that it is not hard at all. The only trick, if you can even call it one, is to make sure that your pasta and sauce are done at the same time. The hot pasta and sauce cook the egg as you stir the egg in, so it’s important that they are piping hot.
As I said, Alexandra and her publisher, Page Street Publishing Company, is offering a free copy to a Healthy Seasonal Recipes reader in a giveaway that starts today! So if you would like to be entered to win a copy of the cookbook, please enter to win by using the rafflecopter widget. You’ll need to leave a comment below letting me know what you favorite pasta dish is. And once you do, you can unlock other ways to gain more chances to win by sharing on social media.
This Vegetarian Fettuccine Carbonara with Mushrooms is a healthier take on carbonara but is still creamy, saucy and full of flavor!
- 8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
- 1 tablespoons extra-virgin live oil
- 3 shallots, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When water boils, cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta cooking water. Drain thoroughly.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook, stirring often until browned and caramelized 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, mushrooms, red pepper, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until the mushrooms are soft and browned, about 10 minutes.
- Whisk egg and ½ cup Parmesan in a small bowl.
- Add the hot pasta to the mushroom mixture and stir to combine. Add the egg mixture and a little of the hot pasta cooking liquid if necessary to thin the sauce if necessary.
- Serve with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.