This Thanksgiving we were a party of one (plus a large dog) and we decided to try a few new things. After a long car drive to a cabin by the ocean, we wanted something satisfying, warm and comforting. This was just the ticket. Taken, again, from NYTimes Cooking (Alexa Weibel), this has a wonderfully rich sauce while a variety of mushrooms and fresh thyme give a deep, earthy flavor. We used fresh pasta (spaghetti) so this recipe to written for shorter cooking times and less liquid, but if you use dry pasta, increase the stock to 5 cups and cream to 1 full cup and then cook the pasta longer, until al dente – about 6-8 mins.
For this you’ll need: 1 lb fresh pasta (we used spaghetti), 3/4 cup heavy cream, 3 cups vegetable stock, 2 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, 1 Tbsp dried porcini mushrooms, 1 cup shiitake mushrooms (chopped), 1 cup chanterelle mushrooms (chopped), 1 cup white mushrooms (chopped), 2 shallots (finely chopped), 4 cloves garlic (crushed and chopped), 1/2 cup white wine, olive oil, salt and pepper.
The key is to cut the mushrooms into small(ish) pieces – about 1/4″. Do the same with the shallots and garlic.
Pulse the dried mushrooms in a food processor to make into a fine powder.
In a large skillet add a good glug of olive oil and place over medium heat. Add chopped shallots, garlic and mushrooms and stir to combine well. Add 2 Tbsp fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and allow to cook over medium heat until brown and starting to caramelize – about 4-6 mins.
Add white wine, turn up the heat and stir well. Allow to cook until reduced to almost dry – about 6-8 mins. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
In a large pot combine cream, stock, 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, dried mushroom (now powder) and some salt and pepper. Continue to stir well over high flame until just beginning to boil. Add pasta and stir well with a fork or tongs to completely separate and cover each piece. Reduce heat and allow to summer until pasta is fully cooked – about 3-4 mins. The pasta will absorb some of the sauce and the whole thing should thicken.
Place pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl and add the mushroom mixture over the top.
Gently combine with wooden serving spoons and serve with crusty bread and grated parmesan.