Sunday, January 08, 2006

Pasta With Sausage and Mushroom Cream

Here is a dish that is easy/medium in difficulty but is sure to impress. The deepness of the flavors will have people thinking they are eating at a restaurant, especially if you make sure the plating is attractive. I have left multiple variations so try this recipe and then tweak to your liking.

First, here are a few thoughts on garlic and hot spice. I would almost always use garlic. My wife and I as well as our friends and family love garlic…so more is better, or a least a little in everything is good. If you are like me, make sure to try things without garlic. One dish that has been a staple in our kitchen for 10 years had lots of garlic and then one night I had no garlic. I substituted shallots and guess what, it took the dish to a new level. I’ll post the recipe soon.

The same goes for spicy hot foods. We love and crave it but I can often destroy delicate flavors and you end up missing out on so much. That is why I first recommend using mild sausage.


  • 1 lb Pasta: (I like penne or rigatoni because the meat an mushroom get inside for a little surprise, but spaghetti or linguini would work well also). My favorite pasta is Latini but Barilla is also very good.
  • ¾ lb Italian sweet sausage: (casings removed and sausage crumbled) Try with a combination of sweet and spicy.
  • ½ cup chopped shallot: (optional: add 1 clove of chopped garlic as well) Could use onion.
  • 2 cups chopped crimini mushrooms : (also known as brown or baby bellas) These are actually young portabella mushrooms. You could also add a small amount of dried porcini mushrooms. Re-hydrate the mushrooms in the broth. Then strain the broth through a sieve or colander lined with a paper towel or coffee filter. Use this mushroom broth for the sauce. Yum!
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ cup dry white wine or low sodium chicken broth (use Swansons)
  • 1 cup parmigiano reggiano + a little extra for the table: (None of that green can crap, get the real thing, you’ll be glad you did)
  • 1 Tbsp Unsalted butter
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley for garnish
  1. In a large skillet with medium/high heat add the olive oil, when oil is shimmering add sausage. Cook until browed. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  2. Begin cooking the pasta as per instructions. Make sure not to overcook. It should be al dente. Make sure the water is salted (like sea water)
  3. Add mushrooms to the pan. Add butter. Toss to coat. Once the mushrooms have released their water, add salt and pepper. Stir occasionally. About 5 minutes.
  4. Add wine or broth and scrape up all the bits stuck to the pan. Then add sausage.
  5. Add cream and reduce by ¾. Should be thick enough to cover the back of a spoon.
  6. Add Pasta (only add as much as the sauce can take, don’t add too much pasta). If you skillet is too small, drain the pasta and add to pot that had the pasta in it. Stir together over medium heat for about 30 seconds. If it is too dry, add a little pasta water. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.
  7. Plate it up and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
You can enjoy this dish with a dry white wine such as chardonnay or with dry red wine that is on the lighter side. Maybe a Chianti. I myself had a California pinot noir.


1 comment:

LTA said...

Wow, J. That dish looks delicious. I'm getting hungry now. Maybe I'll try to make it this week sometime. Keep up the good work!