Now this is what I like to see.

Portobello and Leek Carbonara I

Eggs and bacon… not being used in breakfast.

I mean, don’t get me wrong – I find bacon and eggs in the AM to be one of life’s simple pleasures. I adored the Sunday mornings while I was growing up that my mom would make a “big” breakfast with all the good stuff, which is seriously saying a lot since the only things I really adored at that time were my hair crimper (still got it) and my hot pink (like, literally HOT pink) fanny pack.

Portobello and Leek Carbonara I

Crimping hair was such a total pain because you had to do it piece by piece and layer by layer and it never was even and what SEEMED like would totally turn out to be Seventeen magazine material, really yielded just one massive fro. And that whole fanny pack thing? Please tell me WHAT I carried in there at age 8 besides three crusty lip glosses and my Nano pet. I always wonder this when I see super young girls with purses strapped across their chest. What did we keep in there that was just so… necessary?! Total child of the 90s problem.

I can tell you one thing though… pasta made with raw eggs would have never graced our dinner table in my youth. I feel extremely deprived. I always prayed I’d wake up Italian. Not joking.

Portobello and Leek Carbonara I

Last year sometime, a mucked-up version (read: whatever ingredients lived in my fridge) of carbonara became one of my go-to meals while my husband traveled for work. This is sorta huge since my other go-to meals when the cat’s away are like, wine, cheese, crackers and wine. Sometimes together, sometimes not.

So while I feasted on pasta laced with bacon every other month or so, I never actually made it for that guy in my life. I knew he wouldn’t eat it just as is – “where’s the meat?” he’d whine while I simultaneously rolled my eyes. Apparently, bacon doesn’t qualify as meat for him. what.ever. And to make some chicken and throw it in the pasta and make more of a mess and blah blah blah… just too much going on.

But last week changed all that, as I declared while on a little evening stroll that I was surely “making pasta carbonara tonight!” Since I don’t ever do anything I say I’m going to do, I didn’t do it. But I had an excellent reason as I had some cream that needed to be used or losed (yes losed) and then I accidentally deglazed the pan with cognac. Accidentally. Not gonna work with carbonara. That pasta totally DID have portobellos and leeks strewn throughout, and it was excellently devoured in minutes which led to a quite similar meal being made the next night. Like this one. Total flavor explosion.

Give me bacon or give me death.

Portobello and Leek Carbonara I

Portobello and Leek Carbonara

[adapted from Tyler Florence]

serves 2-4

4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped

2 leeks, trimmed, cleaned and patted dry

12 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, quartered

1/2 pound whole wheat linguine

2 large eggs

3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Bring water for pasta to a boil.

Heat a large skillet oven medium heat and add bacon. Cook until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy – about 6-7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Reduce heat to low.

Add in leeks with a pinch of salt, then toss mushrooms on top. Stir everything together to coat, then let cook until ingredients are softened – about 5 minutes. At this time, throw the pasta in the water to cook – it is really important that the pasta is hot. While the pasta is cooking, mix eggs and cheese together in a large bowl. The mixture will be thick.

As soon as pasta is finished, reserve 1/2-3/4 cup liquid, drain pasta and immediately throw into the skillet. Toss with the leeks and mushrooms to coat, then remove from heat. With a large spoon in one hand, add the egg mixture right on top and immediately begin stirring the pasta together. I usually stir for a good minute or two. At this time if desired, add the pasta water to the skillet to make things a bit more creamy and saucy. Toss in bacon. Serve immediately with extra cheese!

Portobello and Leek Carbonara I

Put this in your Monday and eat it.

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113 Responses to “Portobello and Leek Carbonara.”

  1. #
    FullFlavoredLife — April 17, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

    Currently obsessed with mushrooms! Love the photos!


  2. #
    Cookie and Kate — April 17, 2012 @ 2:32 pm

    This looks phenomenal. I call myself a vegetarian until I’m in the company of bacon. I’m a cheater!


  3. #
    Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips — April 17, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

    Ooh, I think I have to make this with some brown rice or quinoa pasta!


  4. #
    Jolene ( — April 17, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

    Ooooooh heck yeah!!!!! Gimme some of that!!!!!


  5. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — April 17, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

    I love everything about your recipe. That’s all I can say. Portabella and bacon should always be consumed together in my opinion. You win, I love it!


  6. #
    Villy @ For the love of Feeding — April 18, 2012 @ 3:57 am

    It’s 11.00 in the morning here, and I could easily eat this NOW.


  7. #
    Leigh — April 18, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

    I’m just now starting to like mushrooms after having a hatred for them. This sounds like something that will definitely get me to like them. I’ll be making this ASAP. I have a feeling that just like your chicken enchilada spaghetti, this will become one of my “regulars”


  8. #
    amy@currylime — April 18, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

    I’ve always adored pasta carbonara. Thanks for the new version!!


  9. #
    MikeVFMK — April 19, 2012 @ 8:38 pm

    Okay, I turn my head for a moment and I miss a boatload of posts. And this one. It looks bloody good. Love carbonara and leeks anything is contagious it’s so good. Love this.


  10. #
    Javelin Warrior — April 20, 2012 @ 1:44 am

    You’ve succeeded in combining just about every one of my loves in one dish – pasta, eggs, cheese, bacon, leeks… This looks so good. I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. It’s a pleasure to be following your creations…


  11. #
    Jess — June 22, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

    Awesome recipe. I absolutely loved it.
    Here’s a recipe for Fettuccine Carbonara you may like to try.
    Thanks for sharing.


  12. #
    jenny nguyen — September 15, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

    totally making this tonight – can’t wait!


  13. #
    Tippy — September 29, 2012 @ 6:01 am

    Do you slice the leeks as you would green onions? Using the green & white parts? Looks delicious.


  14. #
    Meg — October 1, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

    This looks divine. I have made a similar dish with zucchini instead of leek, but as a big leek fan, this is totally on my list of things to do this week!


  15. #
    renee macatulad — October 6, 2012 @ 3:45 am

    this looks absolutely divine…will have to try this! the photos are great too! thanks for sharing!


  16. #
    Elizabeth — October 24, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

    WOW! I tried this recipe tonight a part of my hubby’s 4 course birthday dinner and it was TO DIE FOR! My 5 year old even devoured 2 bowls! Thanks for the recipe!


  17. #
    Sarah — October 31, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

    had this tonight and followed your recipe exactly. it was amazing, as is every single other recipe i have tried of yours :) love carbonara, love you, and love this blog.


  18. #
    Nicole — November 4, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

    I made this tonight and we loved it! I used green onion instead of leeks, because I was too lazy to go to the store….it was still fantastic! Thank you for the recipe.


  19. #
    clara — November 9, 2012 @ 5:20 am

    ahahah a new idea of Carbonara. Mushrooms are very unusual in this recipe but i’ll try. It’s hard to change our typical recipe ;)

    Kisses from Italy (milan) where we aet this every single day :D


  20. #
    clara — November 9, 2012 @ 5:21 am



  21. #
    Erin — January 6, 2013 @ 1:09 am

    This looks amazing! I’m a vegetarian, is there something that could be used instead of the bacon? I know it could simply be removed from the recipe but is it a vital flavour or can it be just as good without? Xx


  22. #
    Saskia Ladybug — January 31, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

    Looks great! I’m so in the mood for this right now… and honestly, I just had dinner ;-)


  23. #
    Lauren — January 13, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

    I love this, I make it all the time!! Sometimes I substitute bulgar wheat for the fettuccine noodles. It’s kind of unconventional but still really yummy and a little healthier without the processed wheat.


  24. #
    Marnie — December 4, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

    PLEASE make your wonderful recipes easily printable!!


  25. #
    Jess — February 4, 2015 @ 11:40 am

    I just made this for dinner and my family devoured it. I even doubled the recipe and we still ate it all, because it is THAT good. Thanks for the recipe!


  26. #
    Amanda @GlitterItGold — April 26, 2015 @ 4:16 am

    Bacon totally counts as meat. And I can’t get over how you always get your pasta to sit in these pretty little nests. It’s like it’s a sock bun, there must be some sock hiding in there so the pasta just wraps all nicely around it like a bun. Seriously though, gorgeous. And anything that has bacon and mushrooms at the same time is right up my alley. Must make my own version of “mucked-up” carbonara….



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