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Playing Carbonara with Sausage & Mushrooms


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound ziti or penne rigate
  • 1/4 cup EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sherry or marsala
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry wine wine
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • A couple generous handfuls grated Pecorino-Romano, plus more for topping
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


Serves: 4


Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

While the pasta is working, in a large, deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO over medium-high heat. Crumble in the sausage and cook until browned; transfer to a plate. Add another 1 tablespoon EVOO to the drippings. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned, 10-12 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the sherry (or marsala) and season with the thyme, salt and pepper; transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO to the skillet. Stir in the pancetta and cook until browned, 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and lots of pepper for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook to reduce for a minute. Add the reserved sausage and mushrooms. Remove from the heat.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with half of the reserved pasta water to temper. Add the drained pasta to the skillet and pour the tempered eggs on top. Add cheese and the parsley, and toss vigorously for 2 minutes, adding more pasta water if necessary to smooth the consistency. Serve in shallow bowls and top with more cheese.