Mushroom Pasta with Pepper & Pecorino

2 to 3 servings
10 min prep time
30 min total time

This Mushroom Pasta is a tasty spin-off on the classic Cacio e Pepe. In this dish, the nuttiness of the butter works particularly well with the earthiness of the mushrooms. As any mushroom lover knows, you will develop an eye for cooking fungi.

Ingredients

8 ounces short pasta shape such as campanelle

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground coarse pepper, plus additional for garnish

3 tablespoons Vermont Creamery Sea Salt Cultured Butter - 82% Butterfat cut into 1-tablespoon pieces, divided

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

8 to 10 (about 6 ounces) cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps and stems thinly sliced about 1/4 inch

3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus additional for garnish

Kosher salt, if desired

Directions

  • STEP 1

    Bring medium pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions until 1 minute shy of al dente. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta water.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, add pepper to large, cold skillet. Cook over medium-low heat 30-60 seconds or until toasted and fragrant.

  • STEP 3

    Increase heat to medium-high. Add 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil to skillet; heat until butter foams. Add mushrooms; toss to coat. Arrange mushrooms in single layer in skillet (as much as possible). Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping any pepper bits from bottom of skillet, 8-10 minutes or until mushrooms start to brown and most of liquid has evaporated. (If pasta is still cooking, remove skillet from heat and set aside until pasta is done.)

  • STEP 4

    Meanwhile, combine 3/4 cup Pecorino cheese and 3-4 tablespoons reserved pasta water; mix to consistency of loose paste. Set aside.

  • STEP 5

    Return skillet to medium-low heat. Add almost-al dente pasta, 1/2 cup reserved pasta water and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Cook; toss to combine with mushrooms, being sure to scrape up any bits on bottom of skillet. Remove from heat. Add cheese paste and 1/2 cup reserved pasta water. Stir until pasta is well coated, glossy and absorbs most of liquid. (If bottom of skillet looks dry, add more reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Taste; season with pinch of salt, if desired.

  • STEP 6

    Plate pasta; top with additional coarse black pepper and grated Pecorino, if desired. Serve immediately.