Mushroom Pasta

Alright everyone, I’ve got another quick, easy, cheap and most importantly, delicious pasta recipe on deck. This time the star is one of my all-time favorite ingredients, mushrooms. The great thing about this pasta, is that the level of luxury scales with your budget without sacrificing flavor. So whether you find yourself with $10.00 to your name or you own a tower of cash that you can dive into like a swimming pool, you’ll still end up with a comforting and tasty dish. Here’s what you’ll need (for the mushrooms it’s your choice based on budget and taste, anywhere from the lowly button to morel. Some work better than others, you want a mushroom that will give you a nice creamy texture when you sautée them, I usually go with crimini or shitake, although a few morels have snuck in there once or twice):

• 1 lb pasta – long noodles work best here (i.e. linguine, bucatini, spaghetti)

• 1 1/2 lbs mushrooms – roughly chopped

• 1 1/2 large onions – minced

• 5-6 cloves of garlic – minced

• EVOO

• Red Chili Flakes – optional

• Salt & Pepper to taste

Get yourself a large high-sided sauté pan and coat it with a healthy splash of olive oil. On medium-high heat toss your onions in. Cook for a couple of minutes and then set the heat to a low sauté to let them sweat while you chop the mushrooms, this will give them enough time to really let their sweetness out. Fill a large pot with water and set it on high heat, remember to salt the water generously, you want it to be cloudy so the noodles soak up some flavor. Salt the onions and then throw the mushrooms in the pan, it’s going to be really full at first, but don’t worry, when they start to release their moisture, the pile will reduce to a more manageable size. I like to drizzle a little olive oil over the mushrooms to help incorporate them with the onions. Once the mushrooms have cooked down, season the mixture liberally, those mushrooms will soak up a lot of flavor. Now you can add a dash or two of red chili flake to give it a little heat, this works great with the savory mushrooms and the sweetness from the onion. When the water is at a rolling boil, toss in your pasta, make sure to stir for a little while until the noodles loosen up to prevent clumping. A few minutes before the noodles are done, make a space in the middle of the mushroom-onion mixture, add the garlic and cover it over with the mushrooms. This will let them cook down a bit while still retaining some of its raw kick. Season one last time, drain the noodles and combine in the large pot. Let it cool a bit to let the sauce infuse the noodles with flavor and serve generously with Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese, a little parsley is a nice touch as well. 

Yields 4 servings

3 thoughts on “Mushroom Pasta

  1. This looks and sounds delicious! But here’s where I’m confused…when I buy mushrooms I never pay attention to the weight. What I do know is that a pretty large portion is as light as a feather. When I read your ingredients with 1.5 lbs of mushrooms it made me think I’d need like…a billion mushrooms because they’re so light. I’m I retarded or is there a billion mushrooms in this thing??

    • Well stores usually charge by weight, so I wrote it that way to make it easier for someone to figure out which mushroom fits their budget. Criminis usually go for $3.99/lb or so, Morels on the other hand can be upwards of $50.00/lb. Besides, it’s easier than trying to say “87 mushrooms”!

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