Farfalle With Mixed Mushrooms
Hearty and Fragrant
- Servings: 4 as a side and 2 as a main course, both generously.
Mushrooms and pasta is a classic combination. This dish can be a satisfying main course by itself, or else be a perfect companion to fish or poultry.
By combining a variety of fresh mushrooms the flavors become more complex and interesting. Common white button mushrooms hold their familiar shape, shiitake add texture and an interesting appearance, and cremini add richer flavor.
In this recipe a generous portion of fresh mushrooms are sautéed with shallot and garlic until the liquid cooks off and the mushrooms become golden brown. By cooking in butter and olive oil you can cook at a higher temperature while also having the flavor that only butter can provide.
The mushrooms can be cooked up to 3 hours in advance. Cook the pasta and combine with the mushrooms just before serving.
Use a cut pasta like the fun bow-tied farfalle so that the size of the pasta fits with the size of the mushroom.
- 8 to 10 cups fresh mushrooms, ideally equal amounts of white button, shiitake, and crimini. You can also use oyster or morels or pieces of large Portobello
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 large shallot, peeled and finely minced, about 1 1/2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (you can substitute 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound dry farfalle pasta
- Using a damp paper towel, brush off any dirt or debris from the mushrooms. Do not rinse under cold water because the mushrooms are like sponges and they'll absorb the water.
- Trim the stems and any dark spots. The stems of shiitake are particularly tough so discard these.
- Cut the mushrooms into generous 1/2-inch slices. The mushrooms will shrink when they cook so do not cut the pieces too small -- you want them to have visibility and presence in the dish when it's done.
- Place the butter and olive oil in a very large (12-inch would be best) fry pan and place over medium high heat.
- When the butter melts, add the minced shallot and cook until it softens and becomes translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Add the minced garlic and thyme and stir, cooking until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper and toss to combine. Cook for about 10 to 12 minutes during which time the mushrooms will first extrude moisture and be very wet. The moisture will cook off, enabling the mushrooms to then become golden brown. Don't stir too much because the mushrooms will start to fall apart and you want them to stay intact and still look like mushrooms.
- Remove from the heat and hold aside while you cook the pasta.
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, to al dente. Reserve about 1/4-cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.
- Add the pasta directly to the mushroom mixture, toss to coat, adding a little of the pasta water to help everything combine.
- Serve immediately.