Last night I decided to make some mushroom pasta. I threw it together as an afterthought because I was baking a casserole I wasn't too sure about. We started with the mushrooms and no one touched the casserole- not because there was anything wrong with it, but because the mushroom pasta was so good. The kids loved this one, and they had it again for breakfast by request. (!!?)
I started with a big bag of mixed mushrooms from Monterey Market. Any mix is fine, or even just a big Costco container of brown mushrooms would be great, but the mix made it a little more exciting. The exact amount probably doesn't matter much either, just remember that mushrooms really cook down.
1 pound bow tie pasta
12 cups of mushrooms, (or a big bag, or whatever you have) thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic smashed and sliced
a generous pinch of dried thyme
reserved bacon fat or olive oil
1/2-3/4 cup wine
1/2 cup cream
salt to taste
1/2-1 cup grated parmesan
Put a big pot of water on to boil. Have all of the ingredients for the mushroom sauce prepped before you add any pasta to the water. Add salt until it tastes pleasantly salty. When it starts to boil, add the dried pasta. While that is boiling, heat up the bacon fat or olive oil in a really big pan. Add the garlic and the thyme and sauté briefly. Add the mushrooms and a sprinkling of salt. Mushrooms always seem to absorb every drop of fat or oil, so when this happens or when the mushrooms have started to shrink a little, add the wine. It has to be enough that the mushrooms won't burn. (Of course you could lower the heat, but dinner time is usually a huge rush around here.) Once the wine has mostly boiled off, add the cream. When the pasta is just slightly underdone, drain it and add it immediately to the mushroom sauce. It will finish cooking and absorb the flavors of the sauce. When it all looks done (your enormous pile of mushrooms should have cooked down considerably and nothing tastes raw), stir in as much parmesan as you like. If you are short on that, add more salt.
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