Monday 13 November 2023


This pasta is a real show stopper and a must-try dish for any fellow mushroom lovers like myself out there!

Truly the mushrooms, cooked with an asian twist, are the real stars of the show here, chopped so finely that they almost feel like the pancetta that you find the meaty original and are definitely a worthy vegetarian friendly substitute.

The perfect autumnal pasta main to impress that will even win carnivores over.

Serves 2


For the fried shiitake
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps chopped into 1cm pieces
  • ½ tsp mirin
  • ½ tsp soy sauce 
  • For the soy shimeji 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 300g shimeji mushrooms, trimmed, or oyster or king oyster mushrooms, shredded
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mirin

For the ‘carbonara’
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 50g parmesan, finely grated 
  • 1½ tsp mirin 
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Fine sea salt and black pepper
  • 400g dried bucatini, or spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed

  • Start with the shiitake. 
  • Put the oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat, add the chopped shiitake and cook, stirring often, for about seven minutes, until golden all over. 
  • Mix the mirin and soy in a small bowl, pour into the pan and cook, stirring quickly for another minute. 
  • Tip the shiitake mix on to a plate and set aside.
  • Wipe the pan clean and put it on a high heat. 
  • Pour a teaspoon of oil into the pan, then add a third of the shimeji (or oyster or king oyster mushrooms) and cook, stirring often, for two to three minutes, until lightly golden all over. 
  • Tip into a large bowl, then repeat with the remaining shimeji, cooking them in two more batches and adding a teaspoon of oil. 
  • When the last batch of shimeji is cooked, return them all to the pan. Mix the mirin and soy in a small bowl, pour over the top of the shimeji, stir to coat, then tip out into the large bowl and set aside.
  • Now for the carbonara. 
  • Put the egg yolks, parmesan, soy and mirin in a bowl, add a few good grinds of pepper, mix well and put aside.
  • Put 1.3 litres of water and three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt in a large pan and bring to a boil. 
  • Turn down the heat to medium-high, add the pasta and cook until al dente. 
  • Two minutes before the pasta is done, return the saute pan to a medium heat and, once it’s hot, add the oil and garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  • Using tongs, lift the cooked pasta out of the boiling water and stir it into the garlicky oil. 
  • Measure out 200ml pasta water into a bowl, quickly stir in the egg mixture, to combine, then pour the lot into the pasta pan and stir vigorously for a minute, just until the mix thickens into a sauce that coats the pasta.
  • Take the pan off the heat, stir in the shimeji until well combined, then use tongs to transfer the pasta to two bowls. 
  • Scatter a quarter of the fried shiitake over the top of each bowl of pasta and serve with the rest of the shiitake on the side.
  • ENJOY!

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