A quick and hearty meatless main dish recipe — pappardelle pasta with portobello mushrooms and rosemary.
A meaty portobello mushroom sauce combined with ribbons of pappardelle pasta make this a very satisfying plate, and you can make it on the fly.
Portobello mushrooms have abundant earthy, woodsy flavors that match up perfectly with piney, aromatic fresh rosemary. The sauce is much like a traditional ragu or Italian meat sauce, except it’s meatless.
Thick ragu sauces are best mates with pappardelle pasta — the flat, wide strands coil and curl easily around a fork, catching all the juices and chunky bits of sauce.
Did you know that portobello mushrooms (or portabellas) are actually overgrown, giant cremini mushrooms?
It’s true! Portobellos became all the rage in the 1990s, when mushroom growers realized the potential in allowing white button mushrooms to mature a few extra days — first they’re marketed as “baby” portobellos called “cremini” before growing into the oversized beauties we call portobellos.
Tips for preparing portobello mushrooms:
- Choose firm mushrooms with unbroken caps.
- Wipe the mushrooms gently with a towel if they seem dirty — don’t soak them in water or they’ll become soggy.
- The underside of the mushrooms, or the gills, should be tight, dry and light brown in color.
- If the gills are moist and/or turning black, scoop them out with a spoon and discard before slicing and cooking.
This is a hearty, autumnal dish to enjoy in warm bowls, with a glass of red wine on the side 🙂
pappardelle pasta with rosemary portobello sauce
Yield 2 - 4 servings
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 3 portobello mushroom caps (10 -12 ounces), sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces pappardelle pasta, fresh or dried
- 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- A hunk of Parmigiano Reggiano or parmesan cheese
- Put the oil. shallots and a pinch of salt in a large skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are softened, but not browned.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan. Cook the mushrooms for a few minutes until they take on some color, then stir and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Continue cooking until the mushroms become tender and their liquid evaporates.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Cook the pasta until al dente. Scoop out and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.
- Add the garlic, rosemary, chili, tomato paste, vinegar and butter to the mushrooms. Add 1/3 cup of the pasta water and stir over medium heat until the mixture becomes saucy. Add the pasta to the pan and toss gently with tongs to coat with the sauce, adding more water if it seems too dry. Taste for seasoning.
- Shave curls of Parmigiano cheese over the pasta with a vegetable peeler and serve.
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