Pasta ai funghi
That’s fancy-speak for “pasta with (creamy) mushroom sauce”. However you may try to impress your friends, this dish will do it cross-linguistically. I stumbled across it online and was well impressed that it didn’t call for even a wee bit of soy, yet it comes out creamier than ever. It also uses green tea leaves in the recipe. I think that’s rad.
Mushrooms are gifts from the gods. I always was fascinated by them and feared them at the same time. They are a kingdom of their own and the least understood to boot. It’s frightening how you can get them to taste like meat and in this case, like cream. I never liked mushrooms when I was a kid. I hated them even more when a friend of mine in university told me that the part of the mushroom one eats is the sexual organ of the mushroom. He didn’t need to say that. But now I love them. I think mushrooms are an acquired taste for fancy people. Some kids just learn how to be fancy early. Not me. It took me a while to truly appreciate these bizarre and mysterious products of nature. And yes, some do grow in horse poop.
It’s time to share. I hope you enjoy.
Pasta ai funghi (Modified and sexier version of “Creamy Mushroom Pasta“) (vegan)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced.
- 8-10 ounces mushrooms, any type (I used white button mushrooms and they were perfect!)
- 1/4 cup finely ground or finely chopped nuts of any kind (I used walnuts)
- 1.5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dried, ground rosemary or basil
- 1 teaspoon dried, ground thyme.
- 1 tablespoon dry loose leaf green tea (preferably a nuttier variety)
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste.
- Any kind of whole grain pasta (original recipe says 12 oz. dry weight… I say use a whole box) I think mushroom cream sauce tastes best with bowtie pasta (farfalle)
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil while preparing the ingredients.
- Clean and slice the mushrooms.
- In a deep skillet or stove-top pan, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat until the garlic just begins to turn golden.
- Add the vegetable broth mixture, dried tea, and mushrooms and return the mixture to a simmer (low boil).
- Add the herbs, nuts, black pepper, and stir at a low boil for approximately 5-7 minutes, until mushrooms have cooked down in size.
- Very carefully remove approximately 1 cup of mushrooms mixture and place in a blender and blend without burning yourself (e.g., let steam release while blending). Add more broth as needed to make a thick creamy liquid.
- Return the blended portion to the pan and stir to combine with the other mushroom mixture. Reduce heat until pasta is ready.
Note: You can add optional fried or steamed veggies or other stuff like tofu or tvp if you feel like it. However, I think it’s pretty great the way it is. In the photo below, I used elbow pasta and I added yellow sweet pepper. (I think celery would have been nice too.) I just threw it in when I added the mushrooms.