I had some artisan pasta that was given to me as a gift, and I wanted to make a special sauce to go on top of it. I decided to create a creamy mushroom sauce, which I gave a little extra depth to by adding roasted garlic to the cream base. You could use almost any pasta you choose for this sauce. This recipe will serve four as a main course, or six as an appetizer.
by Deborah Mele
1 Pound Dried Pasta Such as Penne, Rigatoni or Fusilli
1 Pound Portobello Mushrooms, Washed And Coarsely Chopped
2 Large Heads of Garlic
4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/4 Cup Dry Vermouth
Fresh Ground Pepper
Dash of Salt
1 Red Hot Chile Pepper, Finely Chopped (Optional)
1/4 Cup Fresh, Chopped Parsley
Grated Cheese For Serving If Desired
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F., and place the heads of garlic in an ovenproof bowl. Drizzle two tablespoons of the oil over the garlic, and roast for 30 minutes or until tender, turning the heads every 10 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
In a medium pot add the remaining oil and heat. Add the mushrooms, and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until they are soft, and beginning to brown. Add the hot pepper, and cook an additional minute or two. Add the vermouth, and cook until the liquid is almost completely absorbed. Add the cream, and stir well, cooking it until it is slightly thickened. Squeeze the pulp from the roasted garlic into the sauce and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the pasta until al dente. Mix together the drained pasta and the mushroom mixture over medium heat for a minute of two. Garnish with the chopped parsley, and serve with grated cheese if desired.