Thick ribbons of pappardelle pasta with lots of mushrooms and fresh herbs in a creamy garlic parmesan sauce. A quick, easy and decadent vegetarian pasta dish that everyone will love.
Is there anything more delicious than big, fat noodles with lots of garlic butter mushrooms swimming in a creamy, cheesy sauce? I think not. This creamy mushroom pasta dish is perfect for any night of the week but also impressive enough for a date night or dinner party.
The whole dish comes together with just a few simple ingredients in about 30 minutes. Serve it with a simple green salad and plenty of crusty bread and you’ve got a vegetarian pasta feast that even serious meat eaters will be excited about.
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Ingredients and Substitutions
- Pappardelle Pasta – pappardelle is a long, wide, flat pasta shape, similar to fettuccine. You do not have to use pappardelle in this recipe but I highly recommend it. Any kind of thicker long pasta like tagliatelle, linguini or bucatini would work nicely. This is one of those recipes that deserves fresh pasta so if you can find it at your local market, go ahead and splurge.
- Cremini Mushrooms – cremini mushrooms are small with a round, brown top. Also known as baby bella mushrooms, they are the same variety as button and portobello, just at an earlier growth stage. They have an earthy flavor that tastes like a milder version of a portobello. You could also use a wild mushroom mix for this recipe.
- Garlic and Shallots – fresh only. We’re using lots of garlic here. This is the kind of recipe where you can most definitely follow your heart with the amount of garlic.
- Butter and Olive Oil – use the good stuff.
- Heavy Cream
- White Wine – I always recommend using a wine that you would enjoy drinking while cooking. If you don’t want to use white wine, a bit of veggie or chicken broth will do!
- Fresh Herbs – we are using LOTS of fresh herbs here. Tarragon, thyme and parsley. If you can’t find fresh, use 1 tsp of dried for each. If anything, do fresh parsley, that’s always available!
- Salt and Pepper – that’s all you need! Feel free to add some crushed red pepper for a bit of heat.
- Reserved Pasta Water – this is arguable the most important ingredient in helping the garlic parmesan sauce come together. DO NOT FORGET to reserve the water from cooking your pasta. Honestly, if you forget, my suggestion would be to just boil more pasta. It’s absolutely that critical. The starchy pasta water is what helps make the sauce silky and not sticky.
Here’s how to make creamy mushroom pasta. It’s very simple!
Cook the pappardelle pasta. Reserve a few cups of pasta water before draining and set aside.
Clean and slice mushrooms, mince garlic and shallots and finely chop fresh herbs.
First we’ll make the garlic butter mushrooms. Heat olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan and brown sliced mushrooms.
Add garlic and shallots to mushrooms and cook until fragrant and translucent. Throw in fresh thyme and cook for another minute. Deglaze the pan with white wine.
Add in pasta, cream and pasta water and use tongs to toss everything together until well coated. Toss everything together with parmesan cheese, fresh tarragon and parsley.
Serve garnished with more parmesan and fresh parsley.
A whole pound of mushrooms?
Yes. As far as this recipe is concerned, you can never get enough mushrooms! We’re going to use a whole entire pound.
Mushrooms shrink down quite a bit when cooking so it will seem like a lot at first, but it will all come together perfectly.
There’s nothing worse than a mushroom pasta dish with a scant amount of mushrooms. We’re not doing that here.
Tips for making crispy garlic butter mushrooms
First you want to clean your mushrooms. Never immerse them in water. Wet foods don’t get brown and crispy. Simply use a damp paper towel to wipe away any dirt on the mushrooms.
Next, slice them about ¼ inch thick. Make sure you slice them evenly.
The first step is to brown the mushrooms in butter and olive oil. Do not crowd the pan. You may need to do this step in two rounds. Browning the mushrooms brings out the flavor, so be a bit patient with this step. Do the first batch, transfer to a plate and then proceed with the second batch. Once the mushrooms are browned, you can add everything back in and proceed as instructed.
What to serve with creamy mushroom pasta
Honestly it’s perfect as is but to round out the meal I would suggest:
- Green salad with my Simple Homemade Italian Dressing
- Crusty bread
You don’t need anything special equipment make this recipe but here are my favorites:
- Large saute pan
- Pyrex measuring cup for reserved pasta water. I dunk the measuring cup right in the boiling pasta water before I strain so I don’t forget!
- Good tongs are essential for tossing pasta.
Pappardelle Pasta with Mushrooms and Creamy Garlic Parmesan Sauce
- 1 pound pappardelle pasta fresh is ideal
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms sliced ¼ inch thick
- 2 shallots minced
- 4-6 cloves garlic minced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley finely chopped (plus more for garnish)
- Salt and pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Cook the pappardelle pasta according to package directions and reserve the pasta water.
- While the pasta is cooking, clean and slice mushrooms.
- Mince garlic and shallots and finely chop fresh herbs.
- In a large sauté pan, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and let sit undisturbed for 1-2 minutes until browned. Stir and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. You may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your pan. (see recipe notes in post)
- Season mushrooms with a big pinch of salt, cracked pepper and fresh thyme and cook for one more minute.
- Add garlic and shallots and cook for another 2 minutes or so until translucent and fragrant.
- Pour in wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits on the bottom. It will steam quite a bit so stand back. Let it simmer for a minute or two until the wine is mostly evaporated and the wine-like smell is gone.
- Add pasta, cream and reserved pasta water and toss with tongs until sauce begins to thicken and coat the pasta.
- Add in parmesan cheese, fresh tarragon and parsley and toss until combined. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper and red pepper flakes if using.
- Serve in big bowls garnished with more parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.