Sunday, January 22, 2012

Creamy Mushroom Penne

Dinner for one? Or two? Or six? This is a tasty recipe that's easy and cheap to make for just yourself or for dinner guests.

I made this for myself last week when my boyfriend had to stay late at work. In less than 20  minutes, I sat down to a satisfying and filling bowl of creamy pasta. The sauce is like an alfredo but much lighter. I used cream cheese for this particular recipe but heavy cream would work too, in which case you would nix the pasta water.

My boyfriend and I actually make a recipe similar to this on a weekly basis. Sometimes we add white wine, Italian sausage, chicken, Pecorino-Romano cheese, or cherry tomatoes, and really the list is endless. This is a great sauce to change up, and you really can just add whatever you have lying around in your fridge.

Oh and for those curious about Patticake Bakery, well... It's slowly picking up customers. I have gigs in February, April, and May. Right now I'm just catering parties, which is probably all I can do with a full-time job already. But hey, things will pick up! I know it. 

Ingredients for 2
  • 4 ounces dried pasta, cooked, drained, and set aside 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms, cremini or button
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • Salt and pepper
While pasta is cooking... [don't forget to reserve a half cup]

In a large pan, melt the butter on  medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the mushrooms, raise the heat to medium-high, and allow to brown. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium again. Add 1/2 cup pasta water and cream cheese. Stir until creamy. Add Parmesan cheese and thyme leaves. 

Allow to thicken a bit. Add pasta and mushrooms. Mix well and remove from heat. Taste for extra seasoning. Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

Sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese and enjoy! 

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