Caramelized Mushroom Pasta

How do you elevate the simple white button mushroom to a gourmet experience? Caramelizing them over high heat and tossing them with butter and wine is a good start! These mushrooms are adapted from a Michael Chiarello (lovvvvvvvvvvvvveee him!)recipe that I have been wanting to make forever. Finding myself with a few extra boxes of mushrooms was my inspiration to make this and tasting the sauce the mushrooms make with just a few other simple ingredients made me think just how delicious this would taste tossed with pasta. Well, I could not have been more right- the butter, wine, parsley and mushrooms made an incredibly flavorful pasta sauce that I could not stop eating. Truth be told, the mushrooms would just be great as a side dish by themselves but I think they probably wouldn't stay long enough in the pan to make it to the table with all the sticky fingers I have over here (mine included.) The absolute key to this is the caramelization of the mushrooms which requires high heat and NO moving the mushrooms until they are browned. That is actually a pretty hard thing to do for me considering that when I'm standing over any pan I have intense compulsions to mix everything and it took more will power than I thought to leave them alone. Well, it was all worth it because it was just yummy and I know you'll enjoy it because who doesn't love a great mushroom dish??? (yes, DR, I know you don't but your'e just missing out.) Enjoy!!

6 Tbl Olive oil
3 cartons button mushrooms, wiped clean (cut the bigger ones into quarters)
4 Tbl butter
1 Tbl minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup white wine
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 lb spaghetti
1 cup grated parmesan, optional

Heat the oil over high heat. When the oil is hot add the mushrooms and DO NOT MOVE THEM. Let them cook over high heat for about 3 minutes until they are caramelized (check on one by lifting it gently by its stem.) Once they are caramelized mix them and cook another 3 minutes. Add butter, and saute another 3 minutes. Season the mushrooms with salt and add the wine, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, red pepper flakes and thyme and let the mixture cook until the alcohol smell has evaporated. In the meantime, boil your pasta. When the pasta is just about done, drain and transfer directly into the mushrooms and let it cook another minute until the sauce has been absorbed into the pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with the parsley and top with the parmesan and serve.


  1. Interesting how the relatively simple things in life can be so delicious. This sounds like a very satisfying dish. DR's loss.

  2. Poor me! (rolls his eyes)


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