Thursday, September 30, 2004


A recipe of unknown origin that I’ve been making on occasion for a couple of years. Very tasty, but then judging by the ingredients you could have guessed that, couldn’t you? There seems like there are a lot of components, but they come together pretty quickly and without fuss. Besides the fact that it’s good and relatively easy, my main interest in making this on Tuesday was to use some of my homemade chicken broth (2 tablespoons being such a piddling amount of broth, I had occasionally omitted it from the sauce in the past, but it adds a nice richness, and the homemade broth even more so), some leftover cream, and the mascarpone I bought for Penne With Three-Cheese Tomato Sauce. (Although I still have more mascarpone. Anyone know any good mascarpone-based recipes? Maybe I’ll improvise something on Saturday with whatever’s laying around my kitchen—I’m thinking egg noodles, garlic, a tomato, and some basil.)

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound fresh mushrooms (preferably a brown variety, such as Portobello, cremini, or shiitake), stemmed, caps thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons butter
½ cup light cream or half-and-half
2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
1 pound fettuccine, spaghetti, or linguine
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

1. Put a large pot of salted water on the stove over high heat for boiling the pasta.

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it's warm, add the mushrooms, season them with salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring gently, until tender, 7-10 minutes. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the garlic to the skillet and cook until it's fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat under the mushrooms and stir in the parsley.

3. While the mushrooms are cooking, combine the butter, cream, and broth in a small saucepan and simmer it over low heat, whisking gently to keep it from scorching or getting skin on top. Cook until it thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Then stir in the mascarpone and turn off the heat.

4. Meanwhile, when the pasta water boils, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain it and pour it into the pan with the mushroom mixture, then pour the cream sauce over it, add the Parmesan, and toss everything together. Dish the pasta into serving/storage containers, sprinkle on a little extra, salt, pepper, parsley, and cheese, and eat.

Serves: 6
Time: 30-45 minutes

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