A fast and flavourful meal!
If I were naming this dish for a restaurant menu, I might call it ‘mushroom lovers’ pasta’ as it was inspired, in part, by a pizza by the same name which I recently enjoyed. I like wide pasta for this so the sauce can really sit on top; bowties would be another good alternative. If you like things spicy, a few pinches of hot pepper flakes would be a delightful addition to the sauce. Consider this a base upon which you can experiment – I may try adding slivers of sun dried tomatoes next time; roasted halved cherry tomatoes would also be great, I think. Be patient when reducing the sauce after adding chicken broth and wine – you will be rewarded with a much greater depth of flavour. Use gluten-free pasta if you prefer and replace the prosciutto with vegan ‘bacon’ bits for a vegetarian meal.
- 6 slices prosciutto
- 4 teaspoons (20 mL) olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons (10 g) butter
- 1 lb (454 g) mushrooms (I used king eryngii, shiitake and cremini), in 3/4 inch (2 cm) pieces
- 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon (1 g) dried thyme leaves
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 cup (180 mL) low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) dry white wine
- 1 lb (454 g) mafaldine, tagliatelle or other wide pasta
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) heavy cream
- Grated parmesan, lemon wedges and chopped parsley or microgreens, to garnish
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the prosciutto slices in a single layer. Bake 7 – 9 minutes, until crispy – keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and let sit while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Add 2 teaspoons (10 mL) of the oil to a very large skillet (large enough to hold the cooked pasta). Place the butter in the middle of the oil. Heat over medium-high; when butter has melted, add mushrooms. Don’t overcrowd your pan – cook in batches with additional oil and butter if needed. Let mushrooms sear, then toss or flip gently. When the mushrooms are lightly crisped and have stopped releasing moisture, they are done (this should take about 4 – 5 minutes). Transfer cooked mushrooms to a clean bowl and set aside.
- Add remaining 2 teaspoons (10 mL) of oil to the same skillet, placed over medium-low heat. Add shallots and thyme plus a few pinches of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until shallots are beginning to soften (about 1 minute). Add garlic and cook, stirring, 2 minutes more. Add stock and wine; reduce heat to low. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce reduces by more than half, about 8 – 10 minutes. In a 12 inch (30 cm) skillet, you should end up with a layer of sauce that just covers the bottom of the pan.
- While sauce is reducing, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente (about a minute less than you might usually cook it). Scoop out one cup (250 mL) of the starchy cooking water. Do not drain pasta.
- While pasta and sauce are cooking, crumble prosciutto into bite-sized shards; set aside.
- Using tongs, a pronged pasta spoon or two forks, transfer cooked pasta to pot with mushrooms. Stir in reserved pasta cooking water along with the cooked mushrooms. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, and cook, tossing constantly, until liquid is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add cream, return to a simmer, and cook, tossing, until pasta is coated, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in half of the crispy prosciutto, and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
- Divide pasta among bowls. Top with chopped parsley or microgreens; sprinkle with parmesan and remaining prosciutto shards. Add a few grinds of pepper then serve hot, with lemon wedges on the side.