Mushroom Sauce & Pasta
No time for elaborate weekday meals? You must try this satisfying and savory dinner. It will taste as if it has spent an hour or more on the cooktop, but it is ready in just 30 minutes.
Cheat sheet: If using chicken, buy it precooked. Though it only takes 5 minutes to cook from raw, cubed chicken breast meat. Buy sliced mushrooms, which is readily available at most grocers. I have even gone so far as to add canned button mushrooms when I had no fresh mushrooms on hand.
I make this recipe more often without chicken ~most often with mushrooms, and at times with fresh tomatoes from my garden for lack of mushrooms. The canned soup which is added, be it cream of mushroom, chicken or broccoli, brings it smoothly together.
This sauce clings richly to any pasta. My favorite is pappardelle, ready in 6 minutes. Otherwise I use penne, fusille, rotini or tortellini.
To change it up use half a cup more of a short pasta, transfer to a oven-proof casserole, sprinkle with your favorite cheese and bake on 350 F for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
- Prep time: 10 min
- Cook time: 20 min
- Ready in: 30 min
- Yields: 4 persons
- 3 large onions, diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 can (10oz) cream of mushroom soup, condensed
- 1/2 can (5oz) water
- 3 cups dry pasta, precooked
- Precook the pasta according the package. Do not overcook.
- Saute the first 5 ingredients in a large nonstick pan on medium high heat for 15 minutes. Stir a few times to prevent the veggies from scorching. If it sticks too much lower the heat a bit and add a bit more oil.
- At the same time that the onions and peppers are roasting, boil the pasta and clean and slice the mushrooms. If you bought them sliced there’s no need to slice them again. Note: I have used an egg slicer to speed the slicing, but the mushrooms must be fresh and firm.
- Add the mushroom slices to the pan, add a sprinkle of salt, stir, (5 minutes). Mushrooms cook very quickly.
- Add the condensed cream of mushroom soup, the water and heat through. Add the cooked chicken here, if using.
- Incorporate the cooked pasta into the sauce and mix well.
- Grated Romano Pecorino cheese works well to finish this dish.