Spaghetti carbonara with a poached egg and mushroom bacon

Spaghetti carbonara with a poached egg

On a recent trip to California, we had a great dinner at Tar & Roses in Santa Monica. Their food is really good, like come home from vacation + try to recreate it good. So that's what we have here.

They have a spaghetti carbonara on the menu, served with pancetta + a perfect soft egg. I've always liked spaghetti carbonara, my mom makes a version of it for breakfast when we have leftover spaghetti in the fridge, but adding that soft egg on top was new for me.

Tar & Roses serves their carbonara with pancetta so I wanted to switch mine up with mushroom bacon. Yes, mushroom bacon.

This mushroom bacon is inspired by the experiments of both J. Kenji López-Alt at Serious Eats as well as Gabi Moskowitz over at Brokeass Gormet. I'm not really a fan of making vegan versions of things because I am a full-blown meat eater, but I also like experiments. This mushroom bacon is one of those experiments + you'll love it too if you like spicy, slightly smoky things.

So try this out, and let me know if you were able to share it with others. I could have the entire pan to myself.

Spaghetti carbonara with a poached egg
Spaghetti carbonara with a poached egg

Spaghetti carbonara with a poached egg and mushroom bacon (for 4)

  • 1 lb. dried spaghetti
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons 1/2 + 1/2 (or whole milk!)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • For serving: black pepper, parmesan cheese, fresh parsley + mushroom bacon (recipe follows)
  1. Start by cooking your spaghetti to slightly past al dente in a large pot of water. Once done remove the spaghetti, but keep the pot on a simmer + top off with water if needed. You'll use this later.
  2. Coat the bottom of a large pan with olive oil on medium heat. Add the garlic + stir until the garlic just takes on some color.
  3. Dump the spaghetti back into the pan + toss it in the garlicky oil.
  4. Crack 1 of the eggs into a small bowl + whisk it with the 1/2 + 1/2. 
  5. Take the pan off the heat + add the egg mix. Keep stirring to make sure everything gets coated. Stir in the parmesan cheese. If it's too thick, add some of the pasta water to the dish, then set aside.
  6. Return to the large pot of water, and add the vinegar. Crack each of the remaining eggs in a separate small bowl for poaching. Poach each egg one at a time by stirring the water (it'll look kind of like a water tornado) and gently pouring the entire egg out of a small bowl into the water. You'll want to let it be in the water for 2-4 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs from the water. Repeat with all of the eggs.
  7. To serve, place a heaping scoop of the spaghetti in a large bowl. Top with more black pepper, parmesan cheese, fresh parsley + some mushroom bacon for spiciness. Serve each bowl with its own poached egg. 

Mushroom bacon

  • 4 large white mushrooms, stem removed + thinly sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I used this smoked one!)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a bowl combine the brown sugar, chipotle chili powder, paprika, black pepper + salt. 
  3. On a large, parchment-lined baking sheet toss the mushrooms with enough olive oil to coat. Add the spice mix + make sure each mushroom gets coated with it.
  4. Bake the mushrooms in the oven for 30-40 minute until the mushrooms are golden + caramelized, but not burnt at all. Enjoy!