We’re celebrating the last day of National Mushroom Month with this creamy mushroom fettuccine dish (National Pasta Month begins tomorrow).
Warm and creamy comfort food, this dish can be a quick and easy weeknight meal or a course for a more special occasion.
You can substitute standard fettuccine, of course.
Fettuccine means “little ribbons” in Italian. These wide, flat noodle pair beautifully with any thick sauce.
Linguine are flat ribbons that are thinner than fettuccine. Pappardelle are wider ribbons.
> Check Out The Different Types Of Pasta
This recipe uses three different types of mushrooms: cremini (photo #3), shiitake (photo #4) and morels (photo #5). Why three?
Combining different varieties builds interesting flavors—like different lettuces in a salad.
Ingredients For 4-6 Servings
1. HEAT a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the mushrooms; season with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
2. STIR the garlic into the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the white wine and cook until the wine is nearly evaporated.
3. MIX the chicken stock into mushroom mixture; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
4. POUR the heavy cream into the mushroom mixture and stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes until the mixture starts to foam. While the mushrooms finish cooking…
5. FILL a large pot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in the fettuccine and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain—but do not rinse—the pasta. Transfer to a large serving bowl and keep warm.
6. STIR the thyme and chives into the mushroom sauce and turn off the heat. Mix 1/2 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into the sauce, and stir until the cheese has melted.
7. POUR all the mushroom sauce and half the mushrooms over the pasta, reserving the other half of the mushrooms in the skillet. Toss the pasta in the sauce until coated.
Here’s a fun food fact: White button mushrooms, creminis and portabellas/portobellos are all the same mushroom: Agaricus bisporus.
The difference is how long they are allowed to grow before harvesting.
The cremini mushroom, also spelled crimini, is a more mature version of the white button mushroom.
Creminis have a browner color, and so much more flavor than the buttons.
If left in the earth longer, a cremini becomes a portabella. It’s sometimes sold as a “baby bella” or a “baby portabella” mushroom.
Creminis are delicious whether raw or cooked.
Shiitake mushrooms are more intensely flavored. Although they’re cultivated now, they retain much of the meaty, woodsy qualities of their wild siblings.
Shiitakes, like all mushrooms, pair well with everything from poultry to lamb to pork to pasta.
But eat only the caps. The stems are too tough to eat, but you can reserve them for stock.
Morel mushrooms have an intense, explosive flavor. They are a favorite of top chefs, and by anyone with a fine palate.
They are earthy, meaty, nutty and woodsy: a standout in flavor.
They are a different genus from cremini, shiitake and portabellas: Morchella esculenta.
You can’t eat morels raw. They contain a mildly toxic substance (hydrazine), which is destroyed in cooking.
With all three mushrooms, you roast them, stuff them, grill them and add them to skewers. You can add them to grains, pasta and stuffing.
For adding to salads or other raw uses, creminis are the best.
*Shiitake stems, like portabella stems, must be removed before cooking. They’re too tough to eat. However, save them to make stock.
†Morel mushrooms are typically a spring mushroom. If you can’t find any, you can rehydrate dry morels, or add more shiitakes.
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