Fettucine with Mushroom Sauce

Makes a bout 2 cups of sauce



Earthy mushrooms slow cooked in butter make a wonderful side dish to steak, or a sauce for pasta or risotto. For this simple ragu, try oyster mushrooms that lend a velvety texture and a mild flavor. For a bolder taste, try shittake or crimini mushrooms. This ragu is the perfect topping for slices of grilled polenta, too. To maximize the flavor, be patient; do not be in a hurry to stir the mushrooms while they cook. Leave them alone and allow them to cook gently without stirring. Your patience will be rewarded.

Ingredients

6 tablespoons butter

2 heaping tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

2 medium shallots, peeled, ends trimmed and minced 1 pound oyster or shittake mushrooms, wiped with a damp paper towel and thinly sliced

2/3 cup heavy cream

Fine sea salt, to taste

Generous grinding black pepper

12 ounces fettucine

Directions

1. Melt the butter in a medium-size sauté pan. Stir in the thyme and shallots. Cook over medium heat until the shallots are soft and the mixture smells fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat without stirring until the mushrooms begin to release their liquid. Stir and continue cooking until all the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.

2. Slowly pour in the cream and mix well to combine. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook covered for about 5 minutes. Uncover, season the ragu with salt and a good grinding of black pepper.

3. Cook the fettucine in 4 quarts of salted water to al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain, place in a bowl, mix in the sauce and serve.


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