Food & Drink

Feed Me Creative Recipes: Wild Mushroom Carbonara

Dig into the season with this hearty Wild Mushroom Carbonara recipe.

Story, recipe and photos by Emily Farris & Jeff Akin

The Internet doesn’t exactly agree on how to translate the Italian term “carbonara,” so we decided on our own definition: creamy, carby goodness. Because that’s exactly what it is.

Like most classic recipes, this simple Roman pasta dish elicits strong opinions. Purists contend it must solely include spaghetti, pork, eggs, cheese, and black pepper—and that anyone who puts peas in their carbonara is most certainly a crazy person.

Since we rarely follow rules, and always favor flavor over tradition, we added a few fall-inspired flourishes to this recipe: hearty wild mushrooms and fresh sage, along with shallots and garlic because, well, shallots and garlic. We also use bucatini instead of spaghetti, preferring the hearty bite of the thicker noodle (though you could make this with pretty much any pasta and it would be delicious). And while we are most certainly crazy people, we passed on the peas.

This may not be the most traditional carbonara recipe in the world, but we guarantee that it does in fact translate to creamy, carby goodness.

Bucatini alla Carbonara with Mushrooms and Sage

Serves 6

  • 1 pound dry bucatini
  • 12 ounces pancetta, cubed
  • 1 medium shallot, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1.5 pounds wild mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 14 sage leaves, thinly sliced
  • 6 medium farm fresh eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

Bring a large pot of liberally salted water to a boil. Add the bucatini and cook for 10 minutes or until al dente. When the pasta is done, reserve 1 cup of the water, then drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sauté for about 3 minutes, until the fat begins to render out. Add the mushrooms and shallot and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the sage and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan and stir, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the pasta and toss to coat, cooking for 1 minute. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and the cheeses until well-combined.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg mixture, stirring thoroughly until the eggs thicken. If the sauce seems too thick, thin it out with a bit more of the reserved pasta water.

Season liberally with freshly cracked black pepper. Depending on saltiness of your pancetta and cheese, you may or may not need to add any additional salt.

Divide the pasta into warm bowls and serve with additional cheese and freshly ground black pepper.


Emily Farris and Jeff Akin are a culinary creative and marketing agency in Kansas City’s West Bottoms specializing in recipe development, food styling and photography. For more information, visit