Maitake Mushroom Alfredo Pasta
This pasta dish is inspired by a meal that I had in Nashville at Rolf & Daughters. I was amazed at the rich flavors of the sauce and intrigued by the way the mushrooms were cooked. I immediately knew that I had a challenge ahead of me in recreating this delicious recipe. Maitake mushrooms, also known as hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, have a rich earthy taste. While they are predominately used in cooking, they are also lauded for their numerous health benefits.
When sautéing the mushrooms be sure to work in batches so that the mushrooms become seared instead of steamed. This recipe uses crème fraîche rather than heavy cream for a rich velvety alfredo sauce with a slightly tangy flavor.
½ pound pasta of choice (I used porcini trumpets)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
12 ounces maitake mushrooms*
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons diced shallots
1 cup dry white wine
¾ cups crème fraîche
¼ cup grated Parmesan, plus additional for serving
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add two tablespoons of the olive oil and heat through. Add the mushrooms and sauté until golden brown, about 3 minutes (working in batches if you have to so you don’t overcrowd the pan). Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Return the pan to medium heat, add the remaining olive oil and heat through. Add the garlic and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are tender, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and let reduce by about half, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the crème fraîche until combined and let cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan followed by the parsley and thyme then season with salt and pepper.
Add the sauce and the mushrooms to the pasta and stir to combine. Serve topped with additional Parmesan cheese.
*Note: Mistake mushrooms can be found at farmer’s markets, Asian markets and some Whole Foods stores.