Mushroom and Thyme Carbonara


Spaghetti carbonara has to be one of the BEST pasta dishes out there. I mean, it does not get much better than creamy carbs with crispy pancetta and cheese! What if I told you there was a meatless option that was just as fulfilling and flavorful? Good news, there is! Bring on the mushroom and thyme carbonara. While this recipe can use many types of pasta, I had my eye on a special mushroom bowtie pasta at my local Lidl. It has a mellow mushroom flavor that pairs perfectly with the sautéed thyme mushrooms in the dish.

 Carbonara may seem like it is daunting to make, but it really is incredibly easy and easily rivals with other popular creamy pasta dishes. Whether you eat meat or not, this recipe will not disappoint. Grab your pasta, because it is “thyme” to get cooking!



1 lb. mushroom bowtie pasta
16 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic gloves, thinly sliced
3 small shallots, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped (plus more for garnish)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
5 egg yolks
1 egg
1 ¼ cups finely grated parmesan (plus more for serving)
Black pepper/Salt
¼ cup olive oil 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped 2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, chopped

  1. Fill a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until slightly undercooked than al dente. Be sure to reserve 1 ½ cups of the past water prior to draining the pasta. 

  2. Begin by heating the olive oil over medium heat in a medium/large pot. Place the mushrooms, loose thyme and sprigs of thyme in the pot and cook for 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper as they continue to cook.

  3. After the 8-10 minutes, add the garlic and shallots. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.

  4. While everything cooks, whisk together the egg yolks, whole egg, parmesan and black pepper. Set aside.

  5. Add the pasta and 1 cup of the pasta water to the pot of mushrooms and cook over medium/low heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

  6. Meanwhile, gradually add ½ cup of the pasta water to the egg mixture and whisk together.

  7. Gradually add the egg and pasta water mixture to the pasta. Continue to stir until the pasta is creamy and the sauce is evenly distributed.

  8. Serve in bowl. Top with fresh thyme leaves, hazelnuts, parsley, additional black pepper and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Elizabeth Canas