I get all my favorite recipes from my dad. Some I grew up with, others he found after his retirement, but many are recipes he created himself. He thinks nothing of it of course, but I think it’s so cool, since every recipe came from someone, somewhere experimenting in their own kitchen (remember the kale pasta sauce?) and it was yummy enough (very scientific term you know) to share with others. The story behind this recipe always makes me chuckle. After a shopping excursion to Whole Foods *cough-whole paycheck-cough*, my dad had bought (on a whim) a small bag full of fancy (ie, expensive) mushrooms, plus another bag at a mushroom farm out in the country. He didn’t have a recipe in mind when he bought them, but they just looked and smelled so good he couldn’t pass them up. Side note: folks, when someone you love buys a food product on a whim with no recipe in mind, be prepared to be that person’s guinea pig (carrot soup anyone?). Anyway, the mushrooms sat in their paper bags in our fridge for a while. They were starting to get soft, so my dad, not wanting to waste all that money, knew he had to cook them. And voila-he turned them into a cream sauce for pasta! Very yummy indeed!
My dad came to visit me for a day while my mom was in Bakersfield for a dog agility event (jumping through hoops, weaving through poles, etc.), so he arrived in beautiful Glendale at about 9am. He was going to be attending a rehearsal for “The Santaland Diaries” with me later, but first we had to get breakfast and kill some time. So after breakfast at the best diner in the Valley, Paty’s, we headed to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market. I had brought my parents once before to the farmer’s market so we knew exactly where we wanted to go: the mushroom guy, LA FungHi. This guy has the best mushrooms I’ve ever seen. The smell is amazing and my mouth waters just thinking about them again. I will find a perfect recipe for each one and I promise to share. But back to the pasta sauce. LA FungHi sells mixed bags of mushrooms so my dad and I bought a large bag and split it, I, with the full intention of making this sauce.
When my sister came to visit the following weekend it was the perfect excuse. With all the talking we did though, I forgot to take pictures while I was cooking! Sorry! We are quite the gabbers! LOL. I promise to make it again and take more pictures. I also had salad greens and served a salad with tomatoes, bell peppers, avocado and a Honey Garlic Vinaigrette. It was a recipe I found at AllRecipes.com and I have included it below. Enjoy!
MUSHROOM CREAM PASTA SAUCE (4 servings)
- 8 oz. Pasta (2 oz for each serving)
- Small Paper Bag of Mushrooms (a variety is best)
- 1/2 Stick Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 Bunch Green Onions (or shallots if you prefer)
- 3 or 4 Cloves of Garlic
- 1/2 Tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 Pint Heavy Cream (1 Cup)
- 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/3 Cup White Vermouth (or white wine)
- Fresh Basil (for garnish)
In a large pot boil about 6 cups of water for your pasta. For every person measure out 2 oz of dry pasta. I used penne pasta, but any type of pasta will do. For four people it’s usually about half a box of pasta. I like to salt my water. This is a debatable, but it’s how I was taught so I do it. When the water is boiling add in your pasta and stir. Cook for about 7 minutes or until al dente. When you drain your cooked pasta save about a cup of the cooking water for your sauce.
While waiting for the water to boil, start preparing your sauce. Coarsely chop your mushrooms, mince your garlic, chop your green onions finely (or thinly slice the shallots). Set all aside so they are ready to add to your sauce. In a large fry pan or deep skillet melt the butter and olive oil over medium high heat. Once the butter is all melted add your green onions/shallots and garlic. Turn the heat down to medium and saute for a few minutes. Add in your Italian Seasoning and chopped mushrooms and saute for a few more minutes until the mushrooms are soft. Keep stirring the mushrooms around so they don’t sit too long. Once the mushrooms are soft add in your cream and stir until it starts to bubble. DON’T let it boil. Turn the heat to low and add in your Parmesan cheese and stir together until the cheese has melted into the mixture. Add in the vermouth and stir again. Remove your sauce from the heat and add in a little bit of your pasta cooking water to thin the sauce out. You want the sauce to be thick, but not a paste, so add the water as needed.
Mix your pasta and sauce together in either the pot or the large fry pan. Serve in pasta bowls. Chop your fresh basil and garnish each plate. Enjoy!
HONEY GARLIC VINAIGRETTE
- 1 Cup Vegetable Oil
- 1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 Tbsp Honey
- 2 Cloves Garlic
Mince your garlic and set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar and honey. Add in the garlic. You can also use a mason jar or some other container that has an airtight seal and shake vigorously. I like using a mason jar as I can store it in the fridge for later uses and easily shake it up again. Pour over your salad as desired. Save the rest for another night.