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Mushroom and Leek Spaghetti Carbonara

Paula of bell’alimento shares a classic Italian dish.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a classic Italian dish. It’s my hands down all time favorite meal and if I could I would eat it every single day. There are many twists on this classic dish and this recipe is one of them. I’ve added leeks and fresh mushrooms to the mix and it’s a twist that we’ll be twirling on our forks on a regular rotation.

We used portobello mushrooms for this recipe but any variety of fresh mushrooms would be lovely. The trick with carbonara is to multi task. While your pasta water is boiling and you are cooking your pasta to al dente perfection in your saute pan get your pancetta (or bacon) crisping. Then you’ll saute the leeks and mushrooms in the bacon goodness (hello flavor). A quick toss of the cooked spaghetti and then the egg mixture and you’re on your way to a happy happy tummy.

Mushroom and Leek Spaghetti Carbonara by Bell'alimento

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
5 slices pancetta or thick cut bacon – cubed
1 leek – thinly sliced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms – sliced
2 whole eggs + 2 additional egg yolks – beaten
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
kosher salt/fresh cracked black pepper
1 pound spaghetti

1. Place a large pot of generously salted water onto boil. Once boiling, add spaghetti and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water prior to draining.

2. Into a large saute pan add oil and heat over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside.

3. To pan add: leeks and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms have softened. Remove pan from heat.

4. Into a small bowl add eggs and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Transfer spaghetti to saute pan. Toss to combine. Add egg mixture. Toss to combine. If mixture it too thick add some of the reserved pasta water.

6. Garnish with additional black pepper and additional cheese if desired.

Asian Meatballs with Sweet Soy Sauce

Chef Billy Parisi gives us delicious blended Asian Meatballs with Sweet Soy Sauce.

March is one of my favorite months.  Not only because you get a slight glimmer of hope from the 40 degree weather in Chicago and that winter is almost over, but that it’s MARCH MADNESS!  Man do I love college sports, and especially college basketball when it’s tournament time.  I always have a few fellas over and we eat and watch basketball all day long, it’s a grown man’s bliss!  When having buddies over to eat and watch games, I always try different things because why not?  Sure there are the staples of wings, nachos and pizza, but I always like to make something a little bit different.

I know what you’re thinking, meatballs are not anything different from the norm, but I guarantee my Asian Meatballs with Sweet Soy sauce are.  Even I was shocked when I took my first bite.  The explosion of umami flavors literally made my mouth feel like the Garden of Eden, it was DELICIOUS!  The perfect combo of onion, garlic, ginger, soy, shiitake and spice left nothing more to be desired, period!

Shiitake Mushrooms   Fresh Ginger

In addition to the meatballs being delicious, they were actually pretty easy to make.  Simply remove the stems of the shiitake mushrooms and add them to a food processor along with some fresh ginger, sweet onion and garlic cloves and pulse until it becomes almost like a paste.  The shiitake mushrooms will act as an excellent filler for both flavor and moistness for the meatballs.  If you’ve seen any of my other meatball recipes you’ll notice that I add soaked bread to my recipe to ensure they are moist, well the shiitakes do that very same thing only with more delicious flavor.  If you wanted to explore a little, you could add in some oyster mushrooms for an even more delicious flavor!

Blending Asian Meatballs  Blended Asian Meatballs

Once your shiitake paste, if you will, is done, simply add it to a large bowl with all of the other delicious ingredients and get to rolling.  Once rolled out, you bake’em up at 375°, then toss them in a little Kecap Manis (Indonesian Sweetened Soy Sauce), sprinkle on a little garnish and you’re done and ready to eat.  I cannot stress enough how dang good these meatballs are, they will literally make your friends beg you to make more.  You could even take it a step further and throw them in a warm pita shell with some Kimchi to further blow your friend’s minds.

Super easy to serve with toothpicks or put them on a spoon for a nice single serving twist!

Garlic-Bacon Mushroom Bites for Award Season

Recipe courtesy of Brooke of at Cheeky Kitchen

Award season is here and you know what that means – viewing parties! We have you covered with the perfect bite-sized mushroom snack that is sure to please everyone from Birdman to Boyhood fans.

Garlic-Bacon Mushroom Bites by Cheeky Kitchen

Serves: 24


24 large cremini mushrooms

1 stick butter, melted

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 large egg

1 clove garlic, very finely chopped

4 thick slices peppered bacon, cooked and finely diced

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

¼ cup green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pull the stems from each of the mushrooms. Wash and gently dry with a clean paper towel. Dip mushrooms in melted butter, then place mushrooms round-side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or in a large parchment-lined skillet or baking dish). Arrange the mushrooms so they’re not touching. Bake for 15-18 minutes in the preheated oven until mushrooms are tender and dark brown.Flip each mushroom so the bottom side is up. In a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese, egg, garlic, and bacon. Beat until smooth. Spoon into the center of each mushroom. Drizzle with butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until the center mixture melts and begins to bubble lightly around the edges. Cool slightly before serving. Garnish with chopped green onions.

Mushroom Minestrone

From Adrianna at A Cozy Kitchen

I believe we’re in what they like to call the dredge of winter. The cold won’t let up, the snow keeps coming (I’m talking about you, Northeast, Los Angeles is pretty lovely at the moment) and spring seems like it’s so close yet so far.

This mushroom minestrone is a play on the Italian classic. It’s meant for those colder months when a hug in a bowl is what everyone needs and wants. This minestrone is spiked with loads of dried herbs, beautiful and colorful rainbow chard, cannellini beans for some heftiness and lots of mushroom for needed comfort. Pour ladles of this into bowl and serve them to your guests with a side of bread; coziness guaranteed.

Mushroom Minestrone by A Cozy Kitchen

Mushroom Minestrone

Serves: 4 to 6


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, peeled and diced

2 carrots, peeled diced

2 ribs of celery, sliced


2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1/2 of red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 tablespoons Parmesan-Reggiano

1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

6 cups water

3 leaves of rainbow chard, ribs removed and leaves roughly chopped

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans

8 cremini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced


1. In a medium pot, set over medium heat, pour in the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the diced yellow onion, carrots, celery and a few pinches of salt; mix and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, dried thyme and rosemary and mix until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Pour in the can of tomatoes, water and give it a good mix.

2. Bring the soup to a simmer and then immediately turn the heat down to low. Mix in the rainbow chard and cannelloni beans. Cover the soup and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Uncover the pot, add the cremini mushrooms, cooking for an additional 10 minutes. Salt to taste (I added an additional 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt).

3. Mix in the grated parmesan and divide the soup amongst bowls. Garnish with some additional Parmesan, if you like, and serve with a side of bread.

Mushroom Marsala Chicken Pot Pie

Paula of bell’amimento gives us a delicious meal, Mushroom Marsala Chicken Pot Pie, to warm you up from the brisk cold.

Mushroom Marsala Chicken Pot Pie

Oh baby it’s cold outside! In my neck of the east coast woods it most definitely is. Cold to me means (well besides boots and seriously soft sweaters) comfort food is cooking in my kitchen at all times. I’ve always been a fan of our family’s chicken Marsala pot pie recipe. It warms me from tip to toe and is what I crave when the temperature drops and of course when I’m under the weather.

I’m not sure why before this month I never thought to add SHROOMS to our pot pie party. After all, mushrooms and Marsala go together like sha na na na na (you get the picture). Well let’s just say that this pot pie was pretty awesome before but after the addition of shrooms it’s kinda extraordinary.

We like to use leftover roasted chicken (hello take two meals) to make ours but if you can always roast one specifically for this or pick up one from your favorite market. Pie crust or puff pastry tops this off. Go with what you like!

Mushroom Marsala Chicken Pot Pie
Courtesy of: Paula Jones of bell’alimento
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 6


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion – minced
  • 1 medium potato – peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery – diced
  • 3 carrots – peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 8 ounces baby portobella mushrooms – quartered
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/4 cup Marsala
  • 2-3 cups roasted herb chicken diced
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup frozen English peas
  • 1 pie crust – thawed


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Melt butter in a french oven over medium-high heat. Add: onion, potato, celery, carrots, garlic and mushrooms. Season with nutmeg and salt/pepper. Cook for approximately 10 minutes OR until vegetables are softened. Stirring as necessary.
  3. Add Marsala and deglaze pan. Add chicken. Sprinkle flour on top. Stir to coat. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Add cream and peas and stir to combine. Check for seasoning. Adjust as necessary. Transfer mixture to one large oven proof dish or several smaller oven proof ramekins.
  5. Place pie crust across top of dish /dishes. Crimp edges.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes OR until crust is flaky and golden.