The other day I was updating my blog post for Mushroom Herb Gravy in anticipation of the Thanksgiving season, and while I sat there trying not to drink the gravy straight from the skillet, I thought, “Maybe I can turn this into a pasta sauce…” And so I did. With the addition of a little cream for body and some lusciously thick fettuccine to sop up the delicious sauce, this Creamy Mushroom Herb Pasta was born.
Creamy Mushroom Herb Pasta
This rich and creamy pasta is so fast and simple you could easily make it on a weeknight. Add some homemade garlic bread and a simple green salad on the side and you have a meal worthy of any restaurant… except you did it yourself. And for half the money. Eat that pasta, girl. You deserve it.
What Kind of Mushrooms are Best?
I used regular white button mushrooms for this Creamy Mushroom Herb Pasta, but if you have room in your budget you can use something like baby bellas or full sized portobella mushrooms (sliced down to size). You’ll get more color and a slightly deeper flavor with the bellas.
Do I Have to Use Fresh Thyme?
You don’t have to, but you’ll definitely get a much better flavor with fresh thyme in this dish. And while I used rubbed (dried) sage, if you have fresh sage on hand, I would definitely use that. You’ll only need about one to two sage leaves, minced.
Creamy Mushroom Herb Pasta
- 8 oz mushrooms ($1.99)
- 12 oz fettuccine ($0.75)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
- 3 Tbsp butter ($0.33)
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour ($0.03)
- 1.5 cups vegetable broth ($0.19)
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried) ($0.32)
- 1 tsp rubbed sage ($0.10)
- 1/2 cup half and half ($0.62)
- Salt and pepper to taste ($0.05)
- Wash the mushrooms to remove any dirt or debris, then thinly slice them.
- Begin cooking the fettuccine according to the package directions. Cook the pasta just until al dente, then drain in a colander. The pasta will continue to soften slightly once it's in the creamy mushroom herb sauce, so do not overcook it.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the butter and minced garlic to a large skillet. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until fragrant and tender. Do not let the butter or garlic turn brown.
- Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms have turned dark brown and all of the moisture they release has evaporated (5-7 minutes). Turn the heat down slightly to medium-low, add the flour, and continue to sauté until the flour begins to coat the bottom of the skillet and turns golden brown (about 2-3 minutes).
- Whisk the vegetable broth into the skillet with the flour and mushrooms. Whisk until all the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the skillet. Add the thyme, sage, and some freshly cracked pepper. Turn the heat up to medium and allow the sauce to come to a simmer, at which point it will thicken.
- Stir the half and half into the sauce and allow it to return to a gentle simmer. Taste the sauce and adjust the salt or pepper as needed (the amount of salt needed will depend on the type of broth used. I added approximately 1/4 tsp).
- Add the drained pasta to the sauce in the skillet. Toss to coat and allow the pasta to heat through over medium-low heat. The pasta will absorb some of the liquid and flavors, and further thicken the sauce. Serve hot.
Step by Step Photos
Start by washing 8oz. of mushrooms to remove any dirt, then slicing them thinly. Also mince two cloves of garlic.
Begin cooking 12oz. of fettuccine according to the package directions. Cook only until al dente, as the pasta will continue to soften a bit once it’s in the creamy mushroom herb sauce. Drain the cooked pasta in a colander.
While the pasta is cooking, you can prepare the sauce. Add 3 Tbsp butter and two minced cloves of garlic to a large skillet. Sauté the garlic in the butter over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until it’s soft and fragrant. Don’t let the butter or garlic brown.
Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to sauté for 5-7 minutes. As the mushrooms wilt, they will begin to release water and the water will begin to pool in the skillet. Just keep sautéing until all that water has evaporated and only the mushrooms and butter remain. You want to cook out ALL the moisture.
Once all the moisture is cooked out, turn the heat down a touch to medium-low, add 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour, and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes. The flour will create a paste around the mushrooms. Just keep sautéing until the flour begins to coat the bottom of the skillet and the flour on the mushrooms loses its white-ish color. Toasting the flour like this gives the sauce better flavor and removes that pasty, flour-like taste.
Whisk in 1.5 cups vegetable broth. Whisk really well until all the flour has dissolved off the bottom of the skillet.
Add a couple sprigs of fresh thyme (or about 1/4 tsp dried), 1 tsp rubbed (dried) sage, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir in the herbs, turn the heat up to medium, and let the sauce come up to a simmer, at which point it will thicken. If you don’t want to bother with fishing out the thyme stems later, you can just pull the leaves from the stems before adding them.
Once the sauce has thickened, stir in 1/2 cup half and half, and allow it to come back up to a gentle simmer.
Finally, give the sauce a taste and add salt or pepper if needed. The amount of salt needed will depend on the salt content of your broth. I added about 1/4 tsp salt. Remember, you want the sauce to be seasoned a little on the heavy side as the flavor becomes a little less dramatic once the pasta is added.
Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta, toss to coat, and heat through. The pasta will absorb some of the sauce as it heats.
I garnished with parsley just because I had it and that’s always nice for photos, but it isn’t necessary. Parmesan is quite nice with this pasta, though.
Super dreamy Creamy Mushroom Herb Pasta!