Recently my kids went to Italy. Almost every day they sent me a picture of something delectable that they were eating. One of the most intriguing sounding dishes was one that Laurie described. Something like this: “I just had the best mushroom pasta! It was SO simple. I think it was only mushrooms, olive oil, garlic and a little pasta water”. I became immediately curious, so I looked up a few recipes. I got some ideas, but of course ended up with my own, which turned out to be pretty good.
Above you see some of the varieties I tried. We have an Asian Market in our town (Me Kong Plaza), with such beautiful fresh produce, and at least 10 different varieties of mushrooms, most of which I have never seen. But I’m not afraid to try anything. So here is what I came up with.
Pictures of Fettucini and creamy mushrooms aren’t that pretty, so I didn’t post a pic of the finished product. But it was delish!
First, cook 1 lb. Fettucini or your favorite pasta. Save about 1 cup of the water.
About 1 cup each sliced mushrooms. I used those shown above. If you can’t get all these just slice a whole bunch of varieties, such as baby Bella, Portobello, Button–Just be sure they are fresh. And that you have at least 4 cups.
Begin by heating about 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 stick butter. Sauce 2 or 3 paper thin slices of garlic just till soft over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, stir and toss to coat them all, then leave them alone for at least 5 minutes. You want just a slight browning for a crispy element. Sprinkle some salt and pepper, then add 1 cup heavy cream. Toss in some pasta water, a little at a time, to smooth out the sauce. This is where that wonderful cream from trader Joes comes in handy. See below:
Taste the sauce for seasoning. It should be a very subtle creamy taste. Some things you might add would be 1/2 cup white wine or sherry (at the beginning) and reduce slightly. I can never resist adding just a tsp. or so of Chicken soup base or bouillon to add flavor. Toss the pasta in the sauce and add a whole bunch of fresh grated parmesan or Asiago or a mix of cheeses. You can garnish with some fresh basil or parsley. But have fun with this one! It’s very much like Alfredo, but with the mushrooms!