I have been making various versions of this Creamy Mushroom Pasta ever since I tasted one in the Tannery cookery course a few years ago. I usually never measure anything and just taste as I go along. This means it is slightly different everytime I make it. It is one of our favourite midweek dinners as it is so quick but is still very elegant and indulgent. The ‘Eat Clean’ brigade might want to look away now!
When I’m feeling lazy and don’t want an extra pan to wash, I serve it quite plain as in the picture above. However, if you go the extra step with the sauteed mushrooms on top you won’t be sorry! You can make the sauce in advance and store it in the fridge for a couple of days. This is also good to know if you have leftover sauce, serve it afterwards with chicken or vegetables.
Leave out the bacon if you want to make it meat free. If it needs to be vegetarian use a suitable stock and find a parmesan substitute. Normally when I use dried porcini mushrooms I rehydrate them in hot water first, but I don’t think it is necessary here. I’ve done it both ways in the past and there wasn’t much of a difference. I always have a bottle of Ballyhoura Mushroom Ketchup in the fridge as it adds a lovely depth of flavour to sauces, soups and stews but you can leave it out or make you own with this Tom Kerridge recipe.
Use whatever herb you like to flavour the sauce but go for one of the more woody type herbs. I use thyme but rosemary, sage or tarragon would work well.
- Olive oil
- 50g of smoked bacon lardons or smoked streaky bacon
- 2 shallots or 1 small onion, very finely diced
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 15g of dried porcini mushrooms
- 60ml of dry white wine
- 150ml of hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 250ml of double cream
- 1 tsp of mushroom ketchup (optional)
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- 150g-200g of spaghetti or pasta of your choice
- 1 tbsp. of oil
- A knob of butter
- 100g of fresh mushrooms, dusted clean and finely sliced.
- 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
- Some fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon juice
- Fresh parmesan cheese and parsley to garnish
- Heat a pan with tablespoon of olive oil over a medium high heat. Add the bacon and finely diced onions. Cook until the bacon is crispy and the onions have softened.
- Roughly chop the porcini mushrooms and add them and the garlic to the pan. Cook for another couple of minutes.
- Add the wine, allow it reduce and the alcohol to burn off. Add the stock, cream, mushroom ketchup (if using) and the thyme and when it starts to simmer, turn down the heat and cover the pan. Allow it to slowly simmer for about 20 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse into the cream.
- Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
- About 5 minutes from the end of cooking time, heat the butter and oil in a small non stick pan over a medium heat and add the fresh mushrooms. When they have started to soften add the garlic, thyme and a nice bit of salt and pepper. Set aside when cooked.
- Pour the sauce through a sieve and really push it through to get all the sauce and flavour you can out of it. Discard the contents of the sieve. Taste the sauce for seasoning and add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Put it back on a low heat.
- Drain – never rinse – the pasta when it is cooked, reserving a little of the starchy water. Add the pasta to the sauce and add a little of the pasta water to the pan. This will help the sauce to cling to the pasta. Use a tongs to toss the pasta through the sauce to make sure it is fully coated.
- Serve the pasta, spoon over some extra sauce and top with the sauteed mushrooms. Grate or shave a little fresh parmesan and sprinkle some parsley on top. Serve with a simple tomato salad on the side to cut through the richness of the sauce. You might also want some bread to soak up the delicious leftover sauce.