With the return of cold weather, my pasta nights transition from fresh veggie-based sauces to creamy ones full of cozy flavors. Earthy mushrooms and warm, mildly sweet nutmeg make this pasta dish a hug on a plate. The easy dinner recipe is done in under 30 minutes, so it’s the perfect winter weeknight meal!
You probably have everything you need to make a simple cream sauce – it’s just butter, flour, and milk! If you can master making a roux (or rue, if you prefer) – and you can, believe me – you’ve learned the base for a myriad of sauces, soups and strews, and gravies.
I chose shitake mushrooms here, but you can use whatever kind you like. Nutty porcini would be a great swap if you like to indulge in the finer things (and if your grocer carries the fresh version!), though button mushrooms are equally delicious in this simple recipe. As for the basil, go fresh. And the nutmeg? Well, educate yourself on some nutmeg history. It’s fascinating.
One time Gordon Ramsay taught me how to chop fresh herbs without totally brutalizing them. Okay, so maybe I just watched one of his videos. You should, too, if you want more herb flavors in your recipe than left on your cutting board.
I like to cook the mushrooms in the sauce instead of sauteing them first. It leaves some bite in them and they don’t get shriveled and slimy. Try it, you’ll thank me.
Here comes the airplane!
Nutmeg and Basil Mushroom Cream Sauce
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Total Time: 25-30 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
Feeding more people? No problem – just double, triple, or quadruple the amounts below!
6 oz fettucini (linguini or spaghetti work, too)
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (preferably whole, but 2% works, too)
1 – 2 bunches fresh basil, chopped
Approx 5 ounces mushrooms of your choice, sliced thin
1 tsp nutmeg (you can add more to taste)
Salt to taste (approximately 1/2 – 1 tsp)
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. In the meantime, heat a large pan over medium heat – when hot, add butter. When melted, add flour and stir until combined.
2. Add milk slowly, stirring constantly. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes until slightly thickened.
3. Add mushrooms and basil. Simmer an additional 3-5 minutes until mushrooms are cooked to desired doneness. Toss cooked pasta in sauce. Serve immediately.