Pappardelle with Chanterelles in a Light Chardonnay Cream Sauce

In reality, I call today’s dish “Pappardelle with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Guanciale, and Fried Egg in a Light Chardonnay Cream Sauce.” But at the risk of sounding like an overcomplicated, high-falutin’ menu entrée, I decided to drop a couple more words (or ingredients), preferring to stay a bit mysterious. Until of course, the dish arrives at the table and a “buon appetito” is uttered! Nothing is more splendid than the delightful surprise of pork jowl bacon (guanciale) and fried eggs on your pasta plate when you least expect it!

I remember this certain meal in Rome, when after meandering the city’s cobblestone streets one night, we sat at a trattoria garden – feet all blistered and swollen – desperate for a hearty plate of pasta and a cold glass of chinotto. My husband asked for the amatriciana – a typical pasta preparation of Rome and the Lazio province of tomato sauce, guanciale, and Pecorino cheese. I asked for an ai funghi (with mushrooms), which is not traditionally Roman but just as delicious. I remember the way the buttery sauce clung to each strand of my fettuccine, creamy and luscious as can be. After a bit of CSI work, I found out later on that Italian housewives made ai funghi with panna da cucina (cooking cream), which is less fatty than heavy or whipping cream, but mimics its rich flavour. Needless to say, when I got back to Canada, I tried to recreate and perfect that ai funghi pasta dish I had in Rome.

Then, I saw this post by the wonderfully talented Rowena of Apron and Sneakers blog, and I knew I just had to have some pasta with chanterelles! I am warning you, looking at her food and travel photos will elicit a serious case of hunger and wanderlust!

So, let’s break down the components. Here are the key players in this recipe:

Chanterelle mushrooms, finferli in Italian, grace us with their yellow to orange trumpets during the summer and fall months. In Canada, chanterelles can run up to $150/kg ($15/100 grams). I find that 100 grams give you about 12 to 15 pieces. Consider that quite expensive mushrooms!

Aside from their luxurious meaty texture, chanterelles are chock-full of vitamins C, D, and potassium. These mushrooms are well-suited for cooking with oil, cream, and butter, as their compounds are fat-soluble. They also contain smaller amounts of water- and alcohol-soluble compounds that lend them well in recipes with wine. Hence, the light Chardonnay cream sauce to complement their woody, earthy flavour.

Guanciale is cured pig’s jowl bacon that produces a naturally smokey meat that can be eaten “raw” but preferably cooked with its fat rendered into the sauce (as in pasta all’amatriciana). Guanciale is typically used all over Rome.

Chardonnay is a type of green-skinned grape that originated in Burgundy in eastern France; however, it is also cultivated in northern Italy to produce lean, crisp white wines.

So in essence, this dish has one foot in Italy and the other in France. As for the fried egg on pasta? I’ve never heard of the French doing that!

What the French (and Italians) do, though, is cook with premium, barrel-churned butter from cows that actually graze in pastures, not feedlots! That is why their butter over there in Europe is so much more superior than anything you will find in North America! I used this burro, or butter, from Italy that has a distinct grassy aroma and sweet but piquant undertones. Delicious!

We also love the speckled beauty of quail’s eggs, so naturally, we chose to fry these teeny ones to go with the pasta. The resulting dish definitely took us back to Rome even for just a minute!

And because I really wanted the chanterelles to shine, I scaled back on the thick-cut pappardelle pasta while piling on the mushrooms instead!

I hope you enjoy this pasta recipe that I shared. It’s definitely not an everyday pasta dish; your hips and your wallet will not forgive you if you ever overindulged. Reserve this for special occasions, ones that you love to celebrate.

4.8 from 11 reviews
Pappardelle with Chanterelles in a Light Chardonnay Cream Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe Type: Main
Serves: 6
  • 500 grams (a little less than 1 lb) egg pappardelle pasta
  • 300 grams guanciale, sliced thinly
  • 250 grams fresh chanterelle mushrooms
  • 30 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, European-style preferably
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 240 ml (1 cup) Chardonnay wine
  • 240 ml (1 cup) vegetable or mushroom broth
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely minced
  • quail eggs for garnish
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil over high heat and salt generously. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package instructions.
  2. In a large pan, cook guanciale over medium heat, until bacon turns opaque but not burnt. Set aside to drain over paper towels. Dispose of bacon grease and wipe clean the pan.
  3. In the pot you used for cooking pasta, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Sautée garlic until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add the chanterelle mushrooms and sautée until juicy (if it is dry, then you may have overcooked them), about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Add half the Chardonnay wine (1/2 cup), and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes or until the wine reduces. When mushrooms are done, turn heat off but leave mushrooms in the pot, but away from heat.
  4. Back to the other pan (the one used to cook bacon), heat the remaining half of the wine (1/2 cup) over mdium heat until it reaches a boil and is reduced to half, then add the vegetable broth first, followed by the cream. Stir thoroughly. If you want a thicker sauce, add more cream. If you want a thinner sauce, add more broth.
  5. Bring the cooked pasta back in the pot with mushrooms and stir thoroughly. Pour the cream mixture into the pasta and stir until combined.
  6. Add the cooked guanciale and mix well. Season to taste. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  7. Over medium heat, pan fry some quail eggs in an oiled skillet until the edges start to curl and turn golden but the yolks still runny.
  8. Remove from pan with a spatula and lay on top of pasta. Serve immediately.


  • Reply July 9, 2012

    Mark Wiens

    That is spectacular – not only beautiful to look at, but looks equally mouthwatering. I’m with you on scaling back on the pasta and increasing the amount of mushrooms!

  • Reply July 9, 2012


    This is a beautiful post but also filled with good information on all your ingredients, great job! I love mushrooms so this is a pasta perfect for my tastes:-)

  • this sounds just divine + I love the addition of guanciale!

  • Reply July 9, 2012


    Those are the cutest mushrooms I have ever seen! The pasta looks wonderful!

  • I love eggs on pasta and this looks like such a beautiful, mouth-watering dish. I remember eating a mushroom-filled pasta in Italy too (a truffle-mushroom dish in Tuscany) and this is making me want to go back as well!

  • Wow! The photos are gorgeous…esp. the one with the eggs and the one with the flower in front of the plate. The dish looks divine too! The bf loves mushroom so I may give this one a whirl. :)

  • Reply July 9, 2012

    Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    How indulgent! I’m all for a pasta dish that will transport me to bella Roma. :)

  • Reply July 9, 2012


    Yuuuum! You take the most beautiful photos!!!

  • If I can cook well like you, I think my kids will have a problem pronouncing the name of this dish (ahem, I am not sure if I can do well for this one either! LOL). What a gorgeous pasta (that’s how I end up calling with!). I’ve never tried chanterelle mushrooms before – unless I tried it without knowing in restaurants. I love quail eggs and love the mini size fried egg on the food. I always don’t know which one to pick for pinning whenever I come here. Got energized by your post!

  • Reply July 10, 2012

    Choc Chip Uru

    This dish has all that is good for you and all that is delicious and of course, all that looks like a gourmet chef made it 😀
    I love it so much!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • While I love pasta amatriciana, too, this version with chanterelles (and the fried egg) really speaks to me. Talk about comfort in a bowl. This is beautiful, Jen!

  • Jen, this is just perfect meal! I love quail eggs too, but never actually tried them on the pasta. Beautiful and flavorful recipe full of flavor for sure. I love your mouthwatering photos, very pretty and delicious looking!

  • Jen, I didn’t even know you mentioned me in this post! Thank you so much! If only you know how much I admire your work. Your pictures always make me sigh. They have this certain effect that you just have to stare at them and drool. Your pasta looks divine!

  • I remember the post on Rowena’s blog and drooled then and now I get to drool again with yours. Delish! Chanterelles are among my favorite mushroom and such a treat. Loving your beautiful photos and pasta dish.

  • Oh my, this pasta is incredible! The sauce with the mushrooms sounds fantastic. The egg on top would get my husband every time!

  • Jen: glad you stopped by on my blog, because I got to discover yours! Lovely lovely photographs, and the stories are so rich too. I am glad my home-country provided inspiration for this dish: you certainly rendered it in a creative and gorgeous way!

  • Reply July 11, 2012


    Wow, this is a really good pasta, simple yet that looks so delicious. Those mushrooms would be so good with that pasta

  • Reply July 11, 2012


    I really like that you let the mushrooms be the star of the dish. It looks amazing!

  • Reply July 11, 2012


    Guanciale, Italian Butter, Quails Egg, Chanterelles and Stories of Italy. What a mouthful! GREG

  • Reply July 11, 2012

    Jen @ Savory Simple

    Wow… wow. This looks so unbelievably good! I’ve pinned it and can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply July 11, 2012


    Hi Jen,
    Another lovely post:) Your pastas looks and sounds as good as the ones you described from your trip. Chanterelles are one of my most favorite mushrooms so I know I’d love your pasta. Can’t wait to find them in my market and try your recipe.

  • I have gone hunting for Chanterelles and they didn’t cost anything (well, except the cost of the gas and the time to find them)! They are lovely mushrooms. Your pasta sounds fantastic and I think I have a few chanterelles in my freezer I could dig up :)

  • Reply July 11, 2012

    wok with ray

    This is a beautiful post Jen! I love all the ingredients that you used especially the quail eggs.

  • Reply July 11, 2012

    Baking Serendipity

    I love pairing fried egg and pasta, and will take wine with dinner any time :)

  • you make one of the most beautiful dishes. i wish I’d be your guest one day at dinner. I don’t think i could eat anything, too pretty.
    I see one of your princesses has a band-aid on her finger, hope she’s feeling better.

  • Reply July 12, 2012


    Anything inspired by a meal in Rome must be fantastic!

  • Reply July 13, 2012

    Friday Favorites

    […] Dessert Summertime Veggie Pizza Pappardelle with Chanterelles in a Light Chardonnay Cream Sauce Blueberry Tartelettes Grilled Stuffed Zucchini Cold Soba Noodles with Fresh Herbs, Cucumber and […]

  • Reply July 13, 2012


    This looks amazing! Best-looking thing I’ve seen on FoodGawker in a while :)

  • […] From Tartine and Apron Strings: Parpardelle with Chaterelles […]

  • Reply July 13, 2012

    Purabi Naha

    I have tasted quail eggs here in Hong Kong and I just love them! Oh, and this pasta has all my favourite ingredients!! What a tempting recipe!!

  • Reply July 14, 2012


    So creative to me, I can see this in a frittata as well even with some pasta. The quail eggs are so cute they look like malted balls at Easter time. You are such a gourmet cook and fantastic photographer.

  • Reply July 16, 2012


    First time visitor. Wow! This pasta looks so elegant and delicious! Love all the different ingredients going on in this dish. Gorgeous photography too!

  • Reply July 20, 2012

    Magic of Spice

    This is just such a fantastic dish…and gorgeous as well!

  • Reply September 15, 2012


    Looks delicious! Thank you for sharing! Will try it when I can find chanterelles in this part of the world!

  • Reply November 13, 2012


    Unbelievable shots with the camera and the recipe is fantastic! I had to share with my 3 faithful followers, but I totally linked back to you because that’s how I roll! Hope you are staying warm up there and thanks for the delicious recipe! Cheers!

  • Reply December 18, 2013

    Christine (CookTheStory)

    Ohhhhh….all my favorite things in a bowl. Beautiful picture.

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  • Reply October 3, 2014

    Mike McMullen

    Best throw together meal in a long time. Truly enjoyed it

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