mushroom pappardelle

While shopping at the Italian Center Store this week I was inspired by the mushrooms I saw there.  I decided that the best way to enjoy a variety of mushrooms would be in a sauce with pasta.  This is a recipe that I've played around with over the years.  It always turns out a little different, but it's tasty.  I like the hint of flavour that the madeira wine adds.  You can use sour cream or cream to make the sauce creamy, but this time I was looking for the tangier flavour that sour cream brings.  Finishing off the pasta with a drizzle of truffle oil really intensified the mushroomy flavour and I love a generous sprinkle of fresh black pepper.  Overall, this is an easy weeknight dinner that tastes like it was a lot more work than it actually was. 

Mushroom Sauce & Pappardelle

  • 3-4 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup madeira (or cooking sherry)
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • beurre manie (combine one tbsp soft butter with one tbsp flour)
  • fresh ground pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • truffle oil
  • pappardelle pasta

First get the porcini mushrooms ready: add them to a small bowl and top with boiling water; allow them to soak for at least 10 minutes, then drain the liquid and roughly chop.  Get a pot of water on the stove to start boiling water for the pasta.  Slice all the remaining mushrooms (I used cremini, shitake and white mushrooms).

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat then saute the shallot until it starts to get translucent then add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more.  Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until they begin to soften and get lightly browned.  Add in the madeira and stir everything around (loosening up any browned bits that are stuck to the pan).  Allow the alcohol from the madeira to cook off for a bit then add the beef stock.  Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce a bit while the pasta goes into the boiling water (cook the pasta according to package directions).

Add the sour cream to the mushroom sauce and turn the heat down to medium-low.  Add one heaping tablespoon of the beurre maine to the middle of the pan and stir in circles outward to thicken the sauce.  Add more beurre maine until you get the thickness you want.

Stir in the thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Drain the pappardelle and add the pasta into the mushroom sauce.  Toss to coat with the mushroom sauce.  Serve the pasta with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil.