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Linguine with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Sautéing fresh mushrooms in a dry fry pan over medium-high heat helps draw out their moisture and concentrate the flavor. After the mushrooms release their juices, cook them further to evaporate the liquid.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 6 oz. button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • Salt, to taste, plus 2 Tbs.
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. linguine
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Make the sauce
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.

In a fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they have released most of their liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are golden, 4 to 5 minutes more. Add the vermouth and cook, stirring, until the alcohol has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper and remove from the heat.

Cook the pasta
Meanwhile, add the 2 Tbs. salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce along with the sour cream and cayenne and toss to combine. Warm briefly over low heat to blend the flavors. Add as much of the cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce. Stir in the parsley.

Divide the pasta among warmed bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Vegetarian, by Dana Jacobi (Oxmoor House, 2007).