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Fettuccini with Mushrooms

My Mushroom Fettuccini is a rich and savory dish - but it is still low fat and does not use a cream sauce, which is often common in this recipe. I like to use chicken stock, but using a vegetable stock, and omitting the cheese garnish, will make the recipe vegan. The sauce is earthy enough, it can handle a nice whole-grain pasta. Pecorino is a strong, salty cheese - a little goes a long way - so I just use a little... but I go a little heavy with the pepper grinder.
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 shallot bulb, slivered (about ½ cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
½ pound fresh mushrooms, such as cremini or porcini, sliced
Black pepper, to taste
1 cup chicken, mushroom or vegetable stock (I use chicken)
6 fresh sage leaves
¼ cup dry sherry or dry white wine (I use sherry)
½ teaspoon cornstarch
Kosher salt, to taste
6 ounces fettuccini, cooked according to package directions
Optional garnishes:
Freshly grated pecorino or parmesan cheese (I use just a teeny bit of pecorino)
chopped flat-leaf/Italian parsley leaves
Put a large pot of water to boil on the stove for the pasta.
Heat a medium skillet and coat the bottom with two teaspoons of the olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté over medium heat for about one minute, until soft. Add the garlic, stir to coat and then immediately add the remaining two teaspoons olive oil and the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat until just browned and all liquid in the pan has been absorbed, five to eight minutes. Season generously with freshly-cracked black pepper, stir to mix and remove the mushroom mixture to a plate.
Meanwhile, boil the pasta (according to package directions).
Add one cup stock and six sage leaves to the same skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer until the stock has been reduced by half, about five minutes. Remove the sage leaves and discard. In a small bowl, add one teaspoon of cornstarch into the sherry and mix well. Whisk the sherry mixture into the simmering stock. Immediately return the mushrooms to the skillet. Stir well to blend. Salt to taste, if necessary. Remove from heat.
Toss the mushrooms and sauce with the cooked, drained pasta and serve immediately. Garnish with cheese/parsley, if desired.
Serves 2.

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