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Asparagus pasta with assorted wild mushrooms in a quick butter sauce that includes thyme and shallots. This is a simple and beautiful vegetarian pasta dinner!
This pasta recipe combines pasta noodles with mushrooms and asparagus, a dish that captures the essence of early spring.
Grassy fresh asparagus pops out of the earth just in time to pair with woodsy wild mushrooms. How convenient!
When asparagus comes into season, I look to all my asparagus recipes, and eat it practically nonstop until it’s over. It’s a good thing that asparagus is so easy to cook, whether you steam it and serve topped with a soft poached egg or quickly roast it and toss with an easy vinaigrette.
Even just throwing it on a pan and roasting it is a huge and simple treat! It’s all about that first taste of fresh green things that we all look forward to in the spring and early summer.
- Fresh asparagus spears
- Button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms
- Assorted “wild” mushrooms, such as oyster, trumpet or shiitake mushrooms.
- Shallot and garlic
- Butter and extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh or dried long pasta shape, such as fettuccine or tagliatelle.
- Parmesan cheese
- Fresh herbs (parsley, thyme)
Flavor of raw asparagus
Have you ever tried raw asparagus? When asparagus is incredibly fresh, it’s out of this world delicious to eat it without cooking.
You can slice or shave asparagus very thinly and add it to salads, pasta or as a topping for bruschetta or crostini.
That’s what’s going on in this recipe — the asparagus stalks are cooked with a jumble of mixed mushrooms in a buttery sauce.
To finish it off, top with some raw asparagus ribbons and toss everything with fresh or dried pasta noodles, such as pappardelle, tagliatelle or fettuccine.
Try to use a mixture of wild mushrooms (I found mine at the grocery store). You can often find more unusual varieties like white beech, king trumpet and maitakes in your market these days.
Whatever you find, mix them with everyday cultivated button mushrooms. When morels and chanterelles are available (and affordable), they are fantastic in this dish!
When asparagus isn’t in season, make this wild mushroom sauce adding some wilted dark nutritious greens (spinach, kale, dandelion) instead.
More asparagus recipes to try:
- Asparagus Risotto Verde
- Steamed Asparagus with Poached Egg
- Baked Asparagus Frittata with Goat Cheese
Wild Mushroom and Asparagus Pasta
- ¾ pound (340 g) asparagus, woody ends trimmed
- Kosher salt
- 10 ounces (283 g) mixed wild mushrooms, see note
- 8 ounces (225 g) cremini or white button mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces (225 g) fettuccine pasta, fresh or dried
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
- 4 tablespoons (60 g) unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- A hunk of Parmesan cheese, for serving
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Set up a bowl of ice water near the stovetop.
- Take 2 asparagus stalks and shave into thin ribbons with a swivel vegetable peeler, then set aside. Slice the remaining stalks into diagonal pieces about 2 inches long.
- Drop the sliced asparagus into the boiling water and cook 3 minutes. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon into the bowl of ice water.
- Gently wipe the wild mushrooms with a cloth if they have debris clinging to them. Trim the stem ends and break or slice the mushrooms into large bite-size pieces. Slice the button mushrooms into quarters.
- Set a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Put the mushrooms in the pan in one layer. Cook for 5 minutes without stirring, until they begin to brown. Add a large pinch of salt and stir the mushrooms. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, until they’ve given up their liquid and softened.
- Cook the pasta until al dente, reserving 1/2 cup of the water before draining.
- Add the shallot, garlic and butter to the mushrooms and stir. Cook 1 or 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and the butter is melted. Stir in a little pasta water to loosen the sauce.
- Drain the asparagus and add to the skillet. Lower the heat. Add the drained pasta, thyme and parsley and toss with tongs (add more pasta water if needed). Add the reserved (raw) shaved asparagus and toss.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Use a vegetable peeler to shave curls of cheese over the pasta.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- Use a mixture of wild mushrooms available in your market, such as maitake (also called hen of the woods), oyster, king trumpets, brown or white beech, or shiitake caps (trim the tough stems).
Nutrition facts are calculated by third-party software. If you have specific dietary needs, please refer to your favorite calculator.