This Creamy Mushroom Pasta is the perfect easy dinner to feed a family of four. Hidden in this smooth and silky mushroom sauce is an absolute explosion of flavour just waiting to be devoured!
Seriously, is there anything more comforting than a skillet full of pasta coated in a creamy mushroom sauce? Like, if I died and went to heaven, I’d hope that heaven would involve me burying my face into a black hole of creamy garlicy herby mushroom pasta. UGH. I’m weeping just at the thought. Any who, enough of my uncontrollable love for calories, let’s see what all the fuss is about.
Creamy Pasta with Mushrooms
So, of course the mushrooms are the star of the show in this recipe, so let’s treat them like the star.
You see it quite a bit with mushrooms, just chopped and chucked in the pan, and I’m often guilty of this in recipes where mushrooms aren’t the star ingredient. But here there’s no excuses. The two most important tips I’ve learnt with regards to preparing mushrooms are as follows:
How to Prepare Mushrooms (2 important steps)
- Clean with a damp cloth – Mushrooms are packed with water, around 90-92% in most cases, so the last thing you want to do is wash them under a tap. This will only allow the mushrooms to absorb more unwanted water. As tedious as it may seem, the benefits are huge.
- Uniformed Size – Slicing the mushrooms the same size, and more specifically the same thickness, will ensure everything cooks at an even rate. In general you want the slices on the thicker side of life, purely for the reason that mushrooms shrink quite considerably. Keeping them thick will help them keep shape.
What Mushrooms to use?
Personally I always go for Chestnut Mushrooms. They tend to have a deeper, ‘meatier’ kind of flavour in comparison to say regular white mushrooms.
I also quite like using Shiitake Mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms have a gorgeous smoky and almost quite meaty flavour to them as well. However, if you are using Shiitake mushrooms then remove the stalk as it’s incredibly tough.
In reality you can use whatever mushroom you’d fancy though!
Now on to the important stuff.
3 Tips for Perfectly Fried Mushrooms
- Don’t overcrowd the pan – putting too many mushrooms in the pan at once will cause the mushrooms to steam instead of fry. The amount I’ve used in this recipe (photo below) is just at the limit of what I recommend a good amount to fry at once. If you find yourself with too many mushrooms then simply fry in batches.
- Don’t annoy them – they’re probably annoyed that they’ve been sliced and thrown in a hot pan already, once they’re in there don’t shake them about every 2 seconds. Plonk them in, spread them out and leave them to brown on one side. Then give them a stir to brown the other side.
- Salt – adding salt to the mushrooms will draw out moisture, so do it after they’ve browned. I find that adding salt at the beginning allows too much moisture to come out, which again encourages steaming instead of frying.
Dang, who knew frying mushrooms was so intricate!? Or maybe I’m just a mushroom snob.. Yeah probably the latter.
Anywho, onto the sauce!
Creamy Mushroom Sauce Ingredients
- Chicken Stock
- Salt & Pepper
I tested so many versions of this sauce I can’t even begin to tell you. Mainly just as an excuse to eat more of it, but also in the name of science.. Or something like that.
My initial instinct for a creamy mushroom pasta was of course to pile in as much cream as possible and be done with in. (lol)
There was indeed more thought that went into the testing than that, but I did find that the consistencies that were heavily cream based, apart from being too rich, also fell a little bland. An even ratio of cream/chicken stock gave the perfect consistency and a gorgeous depth of flavour, emphasising the ‘meatiness’ of the Chestnut/Shiitake mushrooms.
How to make Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- Fry your mushrooms in a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat until brown both sides.
- Add garlic and fry for a minute or so longer.
- Melt in butter then pour in chicken stock. Simmer to reduce.
- Pour in cream and add parsley, chives and seasoning.
- Once thickened, stir in parmesan then add pasta.
What pasta to use?
I ALWAYS go with Conchiglie for the pure reason it’s shape works so perfectly in this recipe.The way it collects the sauce in its shell is almost like a gift from the heavens above. But heck, use whatever pasta your heart desires!
What herbs go with Mushroom Sauce?
As you can see, I keep it simple with parsley and chives. I tend to keep this a simple creamy mushroom pasta recipe, and steer away from other herbs that might overpower the dish. However if you did want to branch out Thyme or Tarragon both work great. But don’t use too much!
All in all this creamy mushroom pasta is THE perfect comfort food. Most importantly it’s quick, easy and ready to be made for a quick midweek dinner!
So really, what are you waiting for!?
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How to make Dreamy Creamy Mushroom Pasta (Full Recipe & Video)
Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- 12.3oz / 350g Conchiglie (or pasta of choice)
- 9oz / 250g Mushrooms of choice, sliced (see notes)
- 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 cup / 250ml Heavy Cream
- 1 cup / 250ml Chicken Stock
- 1/2 cup / 35g Parmesan, grated (plus extra to serve)
- 2 tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely diced (plus extra to serve)
- 2 tbsp Fresh Chives, finely diced
- 1 tsp Garlic, minced
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Olive Oil for frying
- Add a drizzle of oil to a suitably sized pan and begin frying your mushrooms over medium heat. Once they brown on one side, flip them over until they get nice and brown on the other. It's important to get a nice char on each side of the mushroom to intensify the mushroom flavour. Don't just chuck them in a stir around, this will steam them and leave you with weak flavour. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, then melt in your butter and add your garlic. Fry for a minute or so, then pour in your chicken stock.
- Allow the stock to simmer until it’s reduced by nearly half, then pour in your cream. Stir to fully incorporate, then add your chives, parsley and a heavy pinch of salt & pepper (season well to bring out the best in this simple sauce). Allow to simmer a little longer until it begins to thicken.
- Meanwhile, pop your pasta in salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Retain a cup of starchy pasta water.
- When the sauce begins to thicken, stir in your parmesan, then add your pasta. If the sauce thickens too much, add a splash of pasta water to thin out slightly. You might not need to do this. If the sauce is still quite thin, continue to simmer and stir until it thickens.
- Serve with a heavy sprinkling of parmesan and parsley!
Quick 1 min demo!
If you loved this quick pasta dinner, you’ll love my Penne Alfredo with Bacon and Sundried Tomato!