Hi again! This is Christina from Strawberries For Supper back with a quick and delicious recipe packed with my favourite mushroom – the crimini mushroom. Crimini mushrooms are easy to find at your local grocery store and make up the base of this simple pasta dinner.
I love cooking up pasta dishes like this. I often start with a little bit of bacon of some sort. Pancetta is my favourite to use. Pancetta gives the salty hit to start the pasta sauce but doesn’t render much fat nor is it smoked. By starting with a savoury flavour base such as pancetta, it doesn’t take much else to build a delicious sauce.
The mushrooms are sautéed in the fat rendered from the pancetta along with some extra butter. Garlic gives the base a pungent hit and the lemon juice gives the sauce some acidic balance. It is delicious with just these ingredients but I like adding the cream to give the whole dish some richness & a little decadence.
While this is a cream sauce, it isn’t a gloopy one. There is just enough sauce to lightly coat the pasta, mushrooms, and spinach. It takes hardly any time to cook and when you get used to making pasta dishes like this, you will probably start to think of other ingredients to add. Maybe next time you make it you might want to toss in some of those extra cherry tomatoes in your fridge, or maybe swap the lemon juice out for a glug of white wine. However you make this, have fun and enjoy!
Linguine with Lemony Mushrooms and Spinach
Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 20 mins. | Serves: 4
1 tbsp olive oil
4 slices pancetta, chopped
250g crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
225g linguine (about ½ a package)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup whipping cream (35% cream)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan (plus more for serving)
75g (or 2 loosely packed cups) baby spinach
½ cup pasta cooking water – reserved to loosen sauce if needed
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil in readiness for the pasta.
2. In a large frying pan, add olive oil and pancetta and fry pancetta until it is crispy. Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms.
3. When the pancetta is crispy add the butter and sliced mushrooms with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Saute over a medium high heat until the mushrooms are brown. Add the garlic and saute for a few minutes. If you add it earlier, it could burn. After you start sautéing the mushrooms, start cooking the pasta. Boil the pasta according to package directions until al dente (about 7 minutes).
4. When the mushrooms are done add the lemon juice and zest. Stir the lemon juice around to deglaze the pan.
5. Add the cream and Parmesan cheese. If the pasta is close to being done, add the spinach. If you need a bit more time then turn the heat off the frying pan and when the pasta is just about done, turn the heat back on the frying pan and add the spinach then. Stir the spinach around to wilt it over a medium heat.
6. Before draining the pasta, take out about ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.
7. Drain the pasta when it is al dente and add the pasta to the frying pan. Stir it around with the mushrooms, spinach, and lemony cream sauce. Add a few splashes of pasta cooking water until you achieve a light sauce consistency. Add more salt and pepper to your taste if needed.
8. Serve immediately with extra Parmesan cheese.
Weeknights are busy enough without having to stress about dinner. This is a meal that we can whip up in a flash and feel good about servings too! A big thanks to Christina for bringing her skills to our kitchen!!
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