In case you hadn’t noticed, in a very large percent of the world it is extremely cold out right now. Currently I live in Chicago and we have the kind of cold where a hot coffee can freeze on the walk to the train, salt solutions make cars and every clothing item you own look gross, and you see me at peak crankiness. When it comes to winters like this all I want to do is live in a blanket fort and sustain myself on pizza and hot cocoa.
Unfortunately I am a human with a job and expanding waist line and not a bear. So when it comes to something easy enough for my winter laziness, hearty enough to fight the cold, but not bogged down with tons of meat I think to this double mushroom pasta. I love this pasta for two large reasons. First and foremost all the magic, including cooking the pasta all happens in one dish so you have minimal cleanup. Second, what makes this pasta double mushroom is you have a mixture of sauteed fresh mushrooms, but build the sauce using dried mushrooms as well to have a strong hit of earthy, mushroom goodness.
So to expand on that a little more here’s the concept of how the cooking goes down: You start by building an extremely aromatic broth made out of garlic, shallot, wine, thyme, and mushrooms. Then you cook the pasta directly in the sauce, that’s right; no water boiling, so that the noodles absorb all that goodness. Finally you top the whole thing off with just a touch of cream to make the whole thing luscious.
One more bonus about this dish is it offers flexibility. I used madeira wine but marsala, any white, or even red wine would be beautiful in this. One of the great things about mushrooms is they pair well with almost any wine out there. Also I used beef broth in the recipe, but I fully encourage you to swap it out with veggie broth for a vegetarian option.
- 1 shallot, diced
- 8 oz fresh cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 oz dried oyster mushrooms
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1/2 pound wide pasta such as pappardelle or fettuccine
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup madeira wine
- 4 cups beef or veggie broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper
- tbsp olive oil
Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sautee the shallot and onion until fragrant, about one minute. Add the fresh mushrooms and thyme and continue to sautee for about two to three minutes. Adjust the heat to high and add the wine and vinegar. Cook the wine until reduced by half, three to five minutes. Add the beef broth and dried mushrooms and continue to cook over high heat for 10 minutes to reconstitute the mushrooms. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook the pasta according to package directions minus one minute. remove from heat. Add the cream and salt and pepper to taste.