A mix of wild mushrooms such as chanterelles, oyster, morels, shiitake and cremini with their different textures, flavors and colors are delicious when simply sautéed with butter, wine and fresh thyme. When sautéed and tossed with pasta and cheese, they make for an amazingly simple but special evening meal.
There are so many ways to use mushrooms, whether raw, marinated, sautéed, grilled or roasted. One of my favorites is a simple sauté with butter or a mix of butter and olive oil with a clove or two of garlic and a few fresh herbs. Quickly sautéed, they make a wonderful accompaniment for many chicken and veal dishes. Add some cream, wine or broth to the sautéed mushrooms and they make a wonderful topping for pasta and other dishes. Think of them as little sponges that will soak up the flavors of other ingredients. You should season mushrooms well but remember to keep the seasonings or sauces simple so that nothing overpowers the delicious earthiness of the mushrooms you are using.
You may not be aware of the fact that mushrooms are considered a superfood source, full of nutrients and natural antioxidants. They are low calorie, fat free and low sodium as well so they are a wonderful addition to use in your recipes.
Pasta With A Sauté Of Wild Mushrooms And Fresh Herbs
Serves 2 generously, adjust the recipe accordingly.
- 1/2 lb. of mafaldine, pappardelle or pasta of your choice
- 12 – 16 oz. mixture of wild mushrooms such as chanterelles, oyster, morels, shiitake and cremini, cleaned and sliced
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. butter plus and additional 2 Tbsp. to finish the pasta
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 c. white wine
- 1/2 c. chicken broth diluted with 1/2 c. water or 1 c. mushroom broth (made from several pieces of dried porcini mushrooms soaked in 1 c. boiling water, strained then filtered to remove sediment)
- 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 c. reserved pasta water, if needed
- 2 – 3 Tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (optional but suggested)
- finely chopped parsley for garnish
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup pasta water then drain.
As the pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until almost evaporated. Add 2 Tbsp. butter, when melted add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, sauté over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Do not overcrowd or they will not brown, cook in batches if necessary. Add the broth and thyme and cook until the liquid slightly reduces.
Drain the pasta and add to the sauté pan along with the remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and cheese, if using, and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Add some of the reserved pasta water if the pasta seems dry. Plate and garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Serve with additional grated cheese on the side.
Mushrooms are a love them or hate them ingredient. Our son is one of those that doesn’t care for mushrooms in any shape or form. Others think a steak without sautéed mushrooms is like serving toast without butter. Count me in as one of those that love mushrooms although I never had one until after I got married as my mother never cooked with them. Tell me, do you like mushrooms? Do you eat them stuffed with spinach and cheese as an appetizer, sautéed as an accompaniment to a main entree or in a pasta dish similar to my mafaldine pasta with sautéed wild mushroom and fresh herbs.