LINGUINI WITH WILD MUSHROOMS, IN CARBONARA STYLE EGG SAUCE WITH PANCETTA OVER FRESH ARUGULA

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We used the carbonara method to create this wild mushroom and linguini dish that we served New Year’s Eve 2013. Ours is lighter on the garlic than traditional carbonara, but you may add more if you like.

Ingredients:

  • To make mushrooms: 
    1/2  to 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (shitake, crimini, wild, or combination)
    4 tablespoons EVOO, as needed
    1 to 1 1/2 head garlic, peeled, halved, sprout removed, sliced  (save a 1 teaspoon minced raw garlic to toss in with cheese for a greater garlic flavor, IF DESIRED)
    1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes (can use Calabrian  peppers, if you have them)
    pancetta crisps for each serving -see Chef's Note  
    1 pound cooked linguini, cooked, reserve pasta water
    As needed EVOO
    2-3 eggs, scrambled with 1 ½ tablespoons heavy cream (you may use 3-4 egg yolks for richer sauce)
    ¼ cup Grana pandano cheese, or parmigiano reggiano,  finely grated
    2-3 tablespoons parsley, fresh, washed, dried, finely chopped
    2 cups fresh washed and dried arugula leaves, that are lightly coated with a small amount of EVOO
    Optional: for brighter flavor, add spritz of fresh lemon juice on each plate before serving 

Method:

Place wide bottomed saute pan on med-high heat. When hot add EVOO to cover bottom. When oil shimmers, add mushrooms evenly across the bottom. Do not stir for first 3-5 minutes. (it will make them sweat and become watery if you move them too soon). When they have browned on bottom remove from heat and reserve till needed.

For garlic oil: 3-4 tablespoons oil in large sauté pan; Over medium to med-high heat, add garlic and cook until aromatic but not browned (it will drag a little in the pan as it gives up its starch, which is when you can add the pepper flakes. Remove from heat.

Meantime, cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain pasta over your serving bowl allowing water to heat up the bowl, which helps “cook” the egg sauce.(*)Remove from this bowl all but 2-3 tablespoons of the hot cooking water. Add in cooked well drained pasta and immediately drizzle in the egg and cream mixture, tossing and coating pasta as you go. Add garlic pepper oil and mushrooms;  toss to distribute. Add desired grated cheese and parsley, tossing to distribute. Garnish with Pancetta, additional cheese and parsley, and serve over arugula that has been lightly tossed in EVOO. Do not over cheese. And always taste before adding a salty ingredient like cheese, as the pasta water has been salted. A squeeze of fresh lemon over each portion is a nice addition.

(*) The method for this dish will not completely cook the raw eggs. Eating raw or under cooked eggs is not recommended for everyone.  You may substitute pasteurized eggs or simply use cream for the sauce.

CHEF’S NOTE: We make pancetta crisps by placing slices into the oven flat on cookie sheet. Place second cookie sheet on top and bake until they are crisp. The top pan will keep them from curling and they will hold together like a flat cookie. Then we garnish this dish with it, rather than cooking it in as sometimes guests prefer not to eat meat. Bacon may be substituted, by crisping it up and tossing in when you toss in the cheese.






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