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Sometimes, a dish comes along that uses all the delicious ingredients we say we're going to use less of. Things like cream, butter, white wine, and cheese. You know, the ones our cooking idols always encourage using in heaping tablespoons? (After all, when Julia Child calls for more butter, you add more butter.) And if you could combine all of these delicious things in a recipe that doesn't require hours and hours of braising in a Dutch oven, that would be pretty great, right?
Meet this Creamy Mushroom Pasta, your weeknight answer to those rich food cravings. It's the quick (and vegetarian!) dinner that you can whip up and savor in a half hour. It's also a recipe that allows for plenty of creativity on top of a delicious base, so you can use up any odds and ends in your kitchen to make it your own. Add some fresh herbs, or some chicken from last night's dinner. Swap out the vegetable broth for chicken broth. Are you someone who keeps lots of varieties of mushrooms in the fridge? Feel free to another mushroom instead of Portobellos!
Organized by area of the market
8 ounces Portobello mushrooms, chopped
1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 bottle white wine
We're assuming you already have an onion, a few cloves of garlic, Parmesan cheese, butter, and at least half a box of pasta at home, but if not, add those to your list too!
With 30 minutes to dinner, pour a cup of heavy cream for the sauce and set aside. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the mushrooms, 2 to 3 (or 4 to 5, if you like) cloves of chopped garlic, and sauté them until the mushrooms are brown and fragrant. Help yourself to a nice pour of wine, and feel free to close your eyes and take in the wonderful aroma that is mushrooms cooking in butter while you bring a pot of water to a boil.
Add the pasta to the boiling water; then, add 1/3 cup of the wine, the broth, cream and balsamic vinegar to the pan of mushrooms and let it all simmer for around 10 minutes. Once the pasta is done, and the sauce has reduced, drain the pasta, toss in the sauce, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve yourself a big bowl with some Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top—and be sure to save the rest for tomorrow's Not Sad Desk Lunch!
Photo by Mark Weinberg