No matter how poorly stocked my fridge may be, I always have mushrooms. Sometimes I am lucky enough to happen to have “fancy” mushrooms like porcini or shiitake, but almost always I have baby bellas or white button variety.
Last Thursday I was in a particularly sad state when it comes to fresh groceries. It seems we ran out of everything; the fridge was desperately empty from long nights at work and not enough trips to the grocery store. Luckily, my trusty baby bellas were there to rescue me. I find them to be a powerhouse ingredient that can give any simple dish a robust, meaty flavor and can make any kind of vegetarian cooking worthy of any meat dish. Other than mushrooms I had garlic, shallots, butter, oil and pasta and along with a few basics from my pantry, it seemed enough for a quick dish. In fact, we liked this dish so much that we have already repeated it as a comforting Sunday night meal. What I love about this particular dish, it is done by the time the pasta is done cooking.
I ended up using Trader Joe’s Pappardelle, but any type of noodle would work. This can easily be a gluten free dish made with gluten free pasta and a gluten free thickener instead of all purpose flour in the sauce.
Quick Weeknight Mushroom Pasta
- 12 oz portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 to 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 to 2 tsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ package pappardelle
- Cook the noodles according to the package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat a medium pan on medium heat. Melt butter and add roughly a teaspoon of olive oil. Add shallot and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and cook for about 5-7 until they begin to brown and release their liquid. Add garlic and stir. Cook until until garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Once the mushrooms have softened and released their liquid add roughly 1 tsp of flour and mix. The flour should start to absorb the liquid. If that is not enough, add another teaspoon of flour and stir until liquid is absorbed and flour is cooked out, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add about ½ cup of broth and gently stir. Let the sauce simmer. if it starts to thicken too much, add more broth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce thickens then remove from heat.
- Before you drain the pasta, reserve about ½ cup of pasta water.
- Drain the pasta and mix directly into the mushroom sauce. Mix until noodles are fully coated. If the pasta starts to thicken too much, add some of the pasta water and stir again.
- Serve into two pasta bowls and generously top with parmesan cheese and freshly chopped parsley (Optional)