Tagliatelle in Rich Mushroom Sauce

One of the things I appreciate about my childhood is the freedom my parents gave me to be adventurous in restaurants.  They were always of the mind that if my sisters and I were curious to try something from a menu, we should.  It allowed me, in a small way, to make my own food discoveries at a young age even if the experience at the time may not have always been pleasant.

Having been raised with a primarily Asian diet, I was no stranger to anchovies or shrimp paste–I liked both.  But cottage cheese? I considered it a fail when, at 10, I ordered it as an accompaniment to my breakfast.  Or how about Alfredo sauce?  This adult who loves all things rich and laden with cream pooh-poohed it in pasta as a child.  I was a red-sauce girl all the way.  Finally, growing up in San Francisco where potential food discoveries could be made around every corner even 30 years ago, I met my first portobello mushroom burger.  To me, a burger meant a beef patty and two buns.  When my order arrived and I saw the biggest mushroom I’ve ever seen at the time, no meat in sight, I was convinced that someone in the kitchen made a serious omission in preparing my “burger”.  This was during the days of the famous Wendy’s ad campaign.  I wanted to make like Clara Peller and say, “Where’s the beef?”

These days, all of these early “mistakes” are welcome foods in my kitchen.  I still don’t eat much cottage cheese (though I have developed a liking for it) but I would happily swim in creamy sauce if allowed.  Mushrooms? Love them.  However, a few years ago, something turned me off eating them raw.  They are a staple in my kitchen for my husband loves them in salads but I always take a pass and give them all to him.

In this dish, there is nary a raw mushroom in sight.  Cremini mushrooms are cooked down to extract their flavor and along with their dried porcini cousins, simmered in wine and cream for even more complexity and richness.  No beef necessary.

Note: I used a dried tagliatelle made with durum wheat and egg.  It had a bit too much bite even for this flavorful sauce so I would use a thinner pasta next time. I don’t ever buy “fresh” pasta from the grocery store but if you make your own tagliatelle, this would be no problem.  Alternatively, you can still use dried tagliatelle but don’t cook an entire pound for the amount of sauce below.

 

Tagliatelle in Rich Mushroom Sauce

* Serves 2.

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, chopped and soaked in 1 cup luke warm water for about 2o minutes.  Reserve 1/2 cup of liquid.
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup half and half (feel free to use cream)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • salt and ground white pepper to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley plus more for garnish
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or garnish
  • 1/2 – 3/4 pound tagliatelle pasta (or spaghetti if you prefer)
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. Heat olive oil to medium-high heat in a large pan and add sliced mushrooms.  Allow to cook for a couple of minutes until they start to wilt then add the chopped porcini mushrooms.  Cook for another 3 – 4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the wine and the porcini liquid, turn up the heat a bit and let the liquid cook down to half.
  4. Add the half and half (or cream if that’s what you’re using), nutmeg and parsley.  Bring down to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Remove from heat and serve over pasta.
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Comments

  1. This dish has delicious and comfort written all over it. Wish I was enjoying a bowl of it right now.

  2. Absolutely love this post! Can’t wait to try this absolutely delicious looking and sounding recipe!!

  3. Oh my, this looks wonderful – Tagliatelle are my favorite noodle shape, and who doesn’t love a mushroom sauce. Looks elegant and sounds tasty!

  4. Wow! This looks amazing! And so perfect for cooler weather.

  5. Hi Jean, this pasta with mushroom sauce looks so good! The photo with the steam rising up is gorgeous. It’s great to be an adventurous eater, my grand kids eat everything, I appreciate that and frankly it’s just more fun to enjoy meals when everybody eats most everything you serve;-)

  6. Look beautiful. I am with you on the raw mushrooms, I much prefer mine done up just like this. Yum!

  7. Wow this looks amazing! Love that you used mushrooms in here too.

  8. This looks amazing! I could eat this and happily not even miss the addition of meat

  9. What a tantalizing dish, and the photos, too! Jean, this is absolutely stunning, I could just dig right in. While I search for my fork, I just have to laugh because our taste buds were so eerily similar as children! From cottage cheese to red sauce, I felt the same way, and have now changed. It never ceases to amaze me.

  10. Gorgeous pictures, this looks amazing!

  11. It looks wonderful and the pictures are amazing!

  12. This reminds me of a meal I had in Half Moon Bay some years ago. I wish I had some porcini mushrooms on hand, I would make this tomorrow. Your pictures have tempted me.

  13. That last steaming plateful in your photos was the cincher. I love mushrooms best roasted… they are so much more flavorful and sticky caramelizy yumminess (that wasn’t a word, was it, oh well). Great recipe today!!

  14. Awesome clicks! The pasta with mushroom sauce looks delish!

  15. I’ve never developed a taste for cottage cheese, but mushrooms and cream sauce? Yes please!

  16. we’re so different (coming from different parts of the world I mean) and yet we have so much in common. I love mushrooms and pasta is one of the to go ingredients for a quick weeknight dinner. Your photos are stunning Jean!

  17. yummm…think I may make this tonight with some egg noodles.
    I so like looking back at foods I didn’t eat or didn’t’ like when I was a child…and how I eat and like them now! I remember telling my Nonna FIRMLY that I did NOT like raviolis. Seeing as she raised me she asked me when I had eaten them…I told her I hadn’t but I didn’t like them. So after what seemed eternity of her trying to persuade me, I took a bite.
    Heaven! Simply heaven!
    These days, I make my own and devour them!

  18. I love mushrooms, but raw? Pass. My mom used to add them to salads all the time and I would eat some of them, but they were never something I liked.

  19. What a wonderful dish to enjoy in this cold weather! Could not have been more perfect, I picture making this tonight or in the next few days.

  20. Loooooove… GREG

  21. Welcome home!! Gorgeous, gorgeous photos. Love your light! And the dish?? Wow! I’m a pasta girl, and this one is right up my alley. Nicely done!

  22. Yup, don’t like cottage cheese still…and no raw mushrooms for me, either. But give me a rich, cream sauce with cooked mushrooms like this ANY time! Ooh! I have egg tagliatelle here at home…it’s calling out my name!!!

  23. This is such a vibrant dish! I love anything with mushrooms in it. The photographs are just mind blowing, love the light and the steam is beautiful! One of the prettiest steam photographs I have ever seen. Happy New Year to you and yours (and I am ashamed that I came by so late to wish you)

  24. Not sure which I love more, the photos or the recipe. It looks delicious!

  25. This is absolutely one of my favorite dishes, a perfect sauce for egg pasta where two delicate flavors play off each other. Essential is the addition of white wine, I find that it carries a complex set of flavors that bring the dish to the next level. Jean, your photos are fantastic!

  26. Oh, gosh, I LOVE this sauce!!! Creamy and wonderful…it sounds irresistible! Need to send the fungus haters in my family out for pizza and I’ll stay home and make a batch just for me :)

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