Shitake Leek Carbonara

This recipe from How Sweet It Is was my inspiration for this pasta dish. I was pretty excited to realize that Jessica, the author of that blog, is also a Pittsburgh girl. I guess we like to cook and eat here in southwestern PA! Something’s gotta get us through this winter. Anyway, her blog is amazing and you should check it out if you haven’t, but not when you are hungry. You will lick your screen.

Interestingly, Jessica says she hate vegetables. Which is so funny, because I love her blog, and my blog is all about vegetables! She sure manages to pull some amazing veggie dishes out for someone who doesn’t like vegetables. Kudos to her.

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I’ve made this recipe a few times before, each time with subtle variations. Although every time I have made it before, I have included the bacon, but this is a vegetarian version of it. I think if I made this vegetarian version again, I might add a dash of smoked paprika or something. Obviously the bacon adds a lot of flavor.

Other than the absence of bacon, the only other major difference is that this version has shitake mushrooms from my CSA, in place of the portobellos. Aaand I think the cheese might have been romano in stead of parm. But I’m not so sure. I have a special kind of cheese-chaos happening in my fridge right now. Lots of half-grated blocks of CSA cheese sitting in tupperwears with no labels.

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