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    Leek carbonara with mushrooms and sage

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    Leek carbonara with mushrooms and sage

     This vegetarian take on the classic pasta dish is every bit as comforting as the original. An ideal start to the week.

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes
    • Cooking time: 20 minutes
    • Total time: 30 minutes 30 minutes

    Serves: 2


    30g unsalted butter
    2 Essential leeks, trimmed and sliced
    2 garlic cloves, sliced
    ½ x 20g pack sage, leaves picked
    200g chestnut mushrooms, halved
    150g Essential dried spaghetti
    1 large egg
    50g vegetarian Italian hard cheese


    1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. In another pan, heat 15g butter over a low heat until bubbling; add the leeks, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook gently for 15 minutes, until soft, then increase the heat a little. Shred ½ the sage leaves and add to the pan with the mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until light golden. 

    2. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to pack instructions, then drain, reserving a mug of cooking water. Stir the pasta through the leek mixture. Take off the heat; set aside for 2 minutes. 

    3. While it cools, add the remaining 15g butter to the empty pasta pan and return to a medium heat. When the butter starts foaming, add the remaining sage leaves and cook for about 1 minute, until golden and crisp; set aside. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg, then finely grate the cheese and stir it in. Add 2 tbsp of the pasta water, then pour over the spaghetti. Toss thoroughly until all combined in a silky sauce, adding more pasta water if needed. Season and serve topped with the crispy sage leaves. 

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