Thick ribbons of pappardelle pasta tossed in a creamy garlic parmesan sauce with loads of mushrooms and fresh herbs. 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 garlic mushroom pasta dish is perfect for any night of the week but also impressive enough for guests. It’s mouthwateringly good and one of my favorite date night pasta recipes!
The whole recipe 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 delicious, vegetarian pasta feast that even serious meat eaters will be excited about. Change up your pasta with meat sauce routine and try this mushroom pappardelle, you won’t regret it.
Why you will love this recipe
- It’s stress free and impressive at the same time. One of my favorite pastas to make for a special occasion!
- If you’re inspired to do so, this is definitely a recipe worthy of homemade pasta. If you’re looking for fantastic pappardelle pasta recipes, check out this authentic Homemade Pappardelle Pasta by my friend at Cucina with Elena.
- If you love mushrooms, it’s loaded with a whole pound.
- t’s creamy, comforting and perfect for those cold winter months.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Pappardelle Pasta – pappardelle is a long, wide, flat type of pasta, similar to fettuccine. These thick, wide ribbons are the ideal vehicle for hearty sauces like this one. You do not have to use pappardelle in this recipe but I highly recommend it. Any kind of thicker long pasta shapes 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 and we’re using lots of it. 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.
- Parmesan Cheese – freshly grated.
- 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 stock 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 Black Pepper – that’s all you need! Feel free to add some crushed red pepper flakes 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!
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a tablespoon of sea salt. Cook the pappardelle until just al dente. Note that the cooking time will depend on if you’re using dried or fresh pasta. Reserve a few cups of starchy pasta water before draining and set aside. Either dunk in a heat safe Pyrex measuring cup or ladle some of the water into a heat safe container before draining the pasta.
Wipe the mushrooms clean with a paper towel and slice them into about ⅛-1/4 inch slices. Mince the fresh garlic and finely chop the shallot and fresh herbs.
Next, make the garlic butter mushrooms. Heat olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan and add the sliced mushrooms. Let them cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes. This will help them brown and get some color in the pan. It also adds tons of flavor! Depending on the size of your pan, you may want to do this in two batches. If you crowd the pan too much, the mushrooms will steam and not get brown. It will still be delicious but the browning really sets it off.
Add shallots and minced garlic to the cooked mushrooms and saute for another few minutes until fragrant. Add the fresh thyme and cook for another minute. Deglaze the pan with white wine, scraping up any browned mushroom bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the pasta noodles, heavy cream and reserved pasta water to the pan and use tongs to toss and swirl everything together until well coated. The pasta starchy pasta water will thicken the creamy sauce.
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.
To make an emergency pasta water replacement, dissolve ¼ teaspoon of cornstarch and a pinch of salt into a cup of boiling water. Next time, put a measuring cup in your colander or place the colander over a bowl so you don’t forget before you strain!
Yes. Because the starch levels vary depending on what kind of gluten-free pasta you use, it’s best to use a pasta water substitute to achieve the silky, creamy sauce. To get the best results, use a pasta water substitute with ¼ teaspoon of cornstarch dissolved in a cup of boiling water and proceed with the recipe as directed.
Yes. Long, thick cut pasta is best for this kind of recipe but whatever you have in the pantry will definitely work in a pinch!
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 or this Sauteed Baby Broccoli.
- Crusty bread and a glass of wine.
More of our favorite pasta dishes to try
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.