Buttery mushrooms, creamy béchamel sauce, whole grain farfalle and a hint of thyme make this creamy mushroom pasta an umami-packed meal ready in 20 minutes!There is hardly anything easier and umami-packed than this creamy mushroom pasta. Three kinds of buttery mushrooms, creamy parmesan-flavored béchamel sauce, whole grain farfalle, hints of thyme and parsley… It’s a perfect weeknight meal ready in 20 minutes with only seven ingredients (if you count a tablespoon of flour and a sprig of thyme). If you are craving something comforting and umami-loaded, this creamy mushroom pasta is something for you to make tonight!
I’ve recently purchased a brilliant book on Amazon, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page. It’s a great book for those interested in flavor pairings. Part of my free e-book How to Cook Without a Recipe is dedicated to this topic, because the right combination of flavors is extremely important in creating a good recipe. The Vegetarian Flavor Bible is giving you a list of pairings for your initial ingredient. In case of mushrooms, obviously the best match will be butter, thyme, parsley and parmesan cheese. Umami enhances umami, that’s why mushrooms work so well with other mushrooms. I’ve used the most common white mushrooms together with chanterelles and soaked dried porcini mushrooms that I brought from Italy. This combination gives a nice aromatic earthy flavor with pungent and sweet notes, in addition to the overall umami flavor. The rich meaty texture makes them a good addition to chewy farfalle pasta.
In terms of nutrition, the variety of mushrooms give a wider range of health benefits, from anticancer properties to immune boosting effect. Mushrooms are an exceptional source of protein, as well as minerals like zinc, copper, selenium, potassium, and B vitamins. They contain a lot of dietary fiber and are low in saturated fat. Whole grain pasta makes this dish extra nutritious, as it is high in dietary fiber and B vitamins as well, while containing many other nutrients, essential for weight management, regulation of cholesterol level, and cancer prevention. The maximum of these nutrients is obtained when pasta is cooked al-dente and mushrooms are sautéed over high heat for a short time. Not only it is healthier, but it also saves us time which is a double win.
To start with, rinse your mushrooms well until all the dirt is gone. If you are using dried porcini mushrooms, soak them in water for 15 minutes before you are ready to cook and use the soaking water for boiling your pasta to give it an extra flavor. Cook your pasta according to package instructions (usually for about 12 minutes). Cut chanterelles in halves, slice white mushrooms and porcini (if using fresh ones. The dried ones are usually pre-sliced). Heat butter over medium-high heat and sautée the mushrooms with sprigs of thyme and minced garlic until golden brown. Heat butter in a small saucepan and add a bit of flour. Stirring constantly, add cream or milk and cook until thickened, for about 3 minutes, adding ground parmesan, salt and black pepper in the end. Combine pasta, mushrooms and the béchamel sauce in one pan and add a bit of chopped parley. That’s it! For the more precise instructions, follow the recipe of my creamy mushroom pasta below:
How do you usually cook mushrooms? Leave a comment below!