Incredibly Decadent Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Incredibly Decadent Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Definitely Umami! The taste will blow you away. I’m pulling all the stops with this pasta and loading it with some Umami boosting ingredients – mushrooms, Parmesan, Soy Sauce. Then I’m adding some decadent heavy cream (don’t worry, there’s some stock) and some lemon juice to enliven the dish. Then a nice sprinkle of fresh herbs and toasted breadcrumbs for that surprising subtle crunch.

This pasta uses the same ratios as my Simple Weeknight Light and Creamy Mushrooms Pasta. But the addition of decadent heavy cream takes it to the whole new level.

What’s more, I specifically tested make-ahead technique for this pasta. And guess what, not only does it work – it also deepens the flavours! Let me tell you why the make-ahead technique was important to me.

We are hosting a dinner party in a week. When hosting dinner parties, I try to go for something unique, different and memorable. So I thought this would be perfect for that purpose. The only problem is that I do take some time with this pasta to ensure mushrooms are well caramelized as the chemical reactions that take place during caramelization are responsible for more than just colour – brand new flavours end up developing, elevating and deepening the flavour of your dish. I was worried that scaling the recipe 3-4 times and having to cook mushrooms in batches, would take a really long time and keep me in the kitchen over hot stove while my guests are unattended. Therefore, part of the sauce is made in advance. Then I add some soy sauce to it and leave it refrigerated, marinating and letting the flavours meld together. Then when the guests arrive, all I need to worry about is reheating the sauce, adding some cream to it (plus cooking the pasta and garnishes.)

So yes, not only is this absolutely delicious and decadent, it could be made in advance for even more flavour!

DifficultyIntermediate

Yields4 Servings

 3 tbsp butter, plus more as needed
 1 lb mushrooms, quartered
 1 shallot, finely minced
 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
 1 tbsp lemon juice
 3 tbsp flour
 2 cups chicken stock
 1 cup cream
 12 oz pasta (see note)
 soy sauce
 ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
 herbs of choice (I love thyme and tarragon,) chopped
 freshly ground black pepper
 salt, to taste
 3 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
 1 tbsp oil
 1 lb mushrooms (button or wild) for garnish, the amount is very flexible and can be omitted, seared until golden

1

Heat 2 TBSP of butter in a large frying pan for at least 4 minutes until very hot. Add mushrooms in a single layer and cook undisturbed for 1.5-2 minutes to get a nice sear. Flip the mushrooms to the other side and cook undisturbed for another 1.5-2 minutes; at this point, sprinkle with kosher salt. After both sides are seared, reduce the heat to medium and cook your mushrooms for about 8 minutes until nicely caramelized and golden.

Depending on the size of your pan, size of your mushrooms, moisture in the mushrooms, etc. - this step may take you longer (maybe even around 20 minutes), but do not rush this process. This step is responsible for the depth of flavour in your dish.

2

Add shallots and cook until softened for about 2 minutes. Take advantage of the moisture from the shallots and scrape up the flavourful brown bits left in the pan from searing the mushrooms. When shallots are tender, add garlic and cook until fragrant, for about 30 seconds. Add lemon juice to deglaze the pan and scrape all of the brown bits from mushrooms and shallots from the pan. If you feel you need a bit more liquid to deglaze, add a teaspoon or so of chicken stock. Add another tablespoon of butter and when it's foamy, add the flour. Cook the flour, stirring, for at least 3 minutes (cooking less will result in pasty floury taste,) the flour can turn pale yellow but don't let it get dark. Then slowly, in a steady stream, add your chicken stock while stirring aggressively and working out any lumps. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring, and let it cook for about a minute (up to two) until creamy and thickened. Remove from heat and add a dash or two of soy sauce. Place in a heat resistant container and cover with the plastic wrap directly against the sauce (to prevent the film forming on top.) Refrigerate until you are ready to cook your pasta.

If you don't want to use this make ahead step, feel free to proceed to the next step.

3

At this point, your dish will come together fast, so let's get everything ready:

- Bring a pot of cold water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt to it. Boil the pasta to Al Dente.
- Chop your herbs for garnish.
- Heat oil in a frying pan and cook Panko breadcrumbs for about 3 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove to a plate. This is optional but will provide a surprising crunch.
- If adding garnishes to your pasta, work on them now.

4

Drain your pasta in a colander. Be sure to reserve pasta boiling water as it's an excellent agent for thinning out the sauce.

Heat your refrigerated mushroom sauce. It will look very thick. Don't worry. Heat it in a pan over medium low heat, adding some more chicken stock as needed to thin it out. When its smooth and liquid, stir in cream and bring it to a gentle simmer. Do not let your cream boil as it may curdle. Cook for a minute or so until thickened. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Taste your sauce and adjust the seasoning as need with pepper or salt (or instead of salt use soy sauce.)

Stir in your pasta into the sauce and toss to coat. Cook until heated through and the sauce has attached and coated the pasta. Add some pasta boiling water to make your sauce very creamy. You don't want your pasta to be soupy, so start with a very small splash (2 TBSP or so) of the pasta water.

5

Divide the pasta between bowls, garnish with leftover Parmesan, crunchy breadcrumbs, fresh herbs and other garnishes if desired. Enjoy!

NOTE:
6

I love Pappardelle or Gemelli for this preparation, with Gemelli being easier and less messy; but many other pasta types will work.

Ingredients

 3 tbsp butter, plus more as needed
 1 lb mushrooms, quartered
 1 shallot, finely minced
 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
 1 tbsp lemon juice
 3 tbsp flour
 2 cups chicken stock
 1 cup cream
 12 oz pasta (see note)
 soy sauce
 ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
 herbs of choice (I love thyme and tarragon,) chopped
 freshly ground black pepper
 salt, to taste
 3 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs
 1 tbsp oil
 1 lb mushrooms (button or wild) for garnish, the amount is very flexible and can be omitted, seared until golden

Directions

1

Heat 2 TBSP of butter in a large frying pan for at least 4 minutes until very hot. Add mushrooms in a single layer and cook undisturbed for 1.5-2 minutes to get a nice sear. Flip the mushrooms to the other side and cook undisturbed for another 1.5-2 minutes; at this point, sprinkle with kosher salt. After both sides are seared, reduce the heat to medium and cook your mushrooms for about 8 minutes until nicely caramelized and golden.

Depending on the size of your pan, size of your mushrooms, moisture in the mushrooms, etc. - this step may take you longer (maybe even around 20 minutes), but do not rush this process. This step is responsible for the depth of flavour in your dish.

2

Add shallots and cook until softened for about 2 minutes. Take advantage of the moisture from the shallots and scrape up the flavourful brown bits left in the pan from searing the mushrooms. When shallots are tender, add garlic and cook until fragrant, for about 30 seconds. Add lemon juice to deglaze the pan and scrape all of the brown bits from mushrooms and shallots from the pan. If you feel you need a bit more liquid to deglaze, add a teaspoon or so of chicken stock. Add another tablespoon of butter and when it's foamy, add the flour. Cook the flour, stirring, for at least 3 minutes (cooking less will result in pasty floury taste,) the flour can turn pale yellow but don't let it get dark. Then slowly, in a steady stream, add your chicken stock while stirring aggressively and working out any lumps. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring, and let it cook for about a minute (up to two) until creamy and thickened. Remove from heat and add a dash or two of soy sauce. Place in a heat resistant container and cover with the plastic wrap directly against the sauce (to prevent the film forming on top.) Refrigerate until you are ready to cook your pasta.

If you don't want to use this make ahead step, feel free to proceed to the next step.

3

At this point, your dish will come together fast, so let's get everything ready:

- Bring a pot of cold water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt to it. Boil the pasta to Al Dente.
- Chop your herbs for garnish.
- Heat oil in a frying pan and cook Panko breadcrumbs for about 3 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove to a plate. This is optional but will provide a surprising crunch.
- If adding garnishes to your pasta, work on them now.

4

Drain your pasta in a colander. Be sure to reserve pasta boiling water as it's an excellent agent for thinning out the sauce.

Heat your refrigerated mushroom sauce. It will look very thick. Don't worry. Heat it in a pan over medium low heat, adding some more chicken stock as needed to thin it out. When its smooth and liquid, stir in cream and bring it to a gentle simmer. Do not let your cream boil as it may curdle. Cook for a minute or so until thickened. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Taste your sauce and adjust the seasoning as need with pepper or salt (or instead of salt use soy sauce.)

Stir in your pasta into the sauce and toss to coat. Cook until heated through and the sauce has attached and coated the pasta. Add some pasta boiling water to make your sauce very creamy. You don't want your pasta to be soupy, so start with a very small splash (2 TBSP or so) of the pasta water.

5

Divide the pasta between bowls, garnish with leftover Parmesan, crunchy breadcrumbs, fresh herbs and other garnishes if desired. Enjoy!

NOTE:
6

I love Pappardelle or Gemelli for this preparation, with Gemelli being easier and less messy; but many other pasta types will work.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

You see those golden whole mushrooms on top of my pasta used as garnish. This is the recipe for them and they pair really well with this pasta. Except instead of adding additional butter at the end, I deglazed the pan with lemon juice and soy sauce to compliment the flavours of the pasta.

Make it Gluten-Free: replace flour with good-quality all purpose gluten free flour, replace macaroni with gluten free macaroni, omit breadcrumbs or replace with gluten free breadcrumbs. Ensure to use Gluten-Free soy sauce in place of the regular soy sauce. Ensure all your ingredients are gluten free and not cross-contaminated with gluten.

Make it Vegetarian: replace chicken stock with vegetable stock.

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