Creamy Mushroom Paprikash Over Pasta
This rich pasta dish is a vegetarian riff on a Hungarian paprika-infused chicken dish. You can serve it on wide, fresh pasta ribbons, but dried egg noodles or spaetzle would also be wonderful. Don’t overcrowd the mushrooms when sautéing them or they won’t properly brown. Use a very large (about 14-inch/35-cm) pan or cook them in batches to avoid crowding.
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 lb. (500 g) cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups (7 oz./220 g) yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 1 tsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
- 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) dry white wine
- 3/4 lb. (375 g) fresh pappardelle
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) sour cream or crème fraîche
- 1/4 cup (1/4 oz./7 g) chopped fresh dill
Bring a large pot two-thirds full of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large fry pan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter. Add the mushrooms, caraway seeds and 1/2 tsp. salt, and sauté until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to brown, 8 minutes.
Add the onion and sauté until the onion is tender and browned, 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and paprika and cook for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium, add the wine and simmer until about half the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes. Cover and set aside.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente, 2 to 4 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl and toss with the remaining 1 Tbs. butter. Fold the sour cream and dill into the mushroom sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper, adding a bit of the pasta cooking liquid to moisten, if necessary. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Vegetarian, by Kristine Kidd (Weldon Owen, 2014)