Creamy Mushroom and Ricotta Pasta is the perfect way to get your pasta fix this winter season! Easy to prepare with minimal ingredients and a sure-fire hit with pasta lovers.
In between the festive holiday cocktails, fancy pear tarts, and unending holiday appetizers, we need to slide in one last indulgent pasta recipe for the archives. Because what’s a holiday/binge eating season without one of those?
While your ultimate guilty pleasure and one food item that makes you infinitely happy may not be the same as mine (creamy pasta of any kind), I’m willing to bet you can appreciate it just as much. Why? Because EVERYONE loves pasta.
However, not everyone loves mushrooms. But! If they had mushrooms in the form of today’s Creamy Mushroom and Ricotta Pasta, they might. Kevin can attest to that.
When mushrooms are browned and cooked in a bath of brown butter, then hit with a generous dousing of dry sherry and just a pinch of salt, they pretty much become as addictive as a container of crispy mini chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe’s ( but enter your own personal candy/cookie addiction instead).
They’re also so good, you might forget to even add the pasta before you finish off the entire recipe’s worth of mushrooms straight from the skillet. In fact, the second time I made this, I ended up doubling the mushroom part of the recipe just so I could eat half of them while the pasta was cooking. I’d suggest you do the same.
The entire recipe is pretty simple, but things simply even more after the mushrooms are finishing cooking since the only remaining ingredients are pasta, ricotta, and a little bit of parmesan cheese.
Here’s the gist:
- Cook mushroom in brown butter
- Add sherry and garlic
- Toss aldente fettuccine with mushrooms, ricotta, pasta water, and parmesan.
- Season to taste
Pretty simple right?
I absolutely adore using a ricotta as a replacement for heavy creamy in pasta sauces. It’s kind of a nice departure from your typical cream sauce, and I love the way it clings to each and every pasta strand. When the ricotta hits the hot pasta, it instantly sort of melts into this creamy oblivion and becomes the perfect base for the sauce.
Of course, since ricotta is kind of a blank canvas when it comes to taste, it’s essential to add a little bit of flavor. Here, we do that two ways. One, with the addition of lots of nutty parmesan cheese. Two, with the addition of the salty, starchy water the pasta was cooked in.
I know I’ve talked about it before, but using that starchy cooking liquid is such an amazing way to add flavor and body to your sauces without the addition of any other ingredients.
Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and some freshly cracked black pepper and you’re ready to go. I think this would be the PERFECT meal for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Pair with a great salad, some great wine, and enjoy!
- You can use pecorino instead of parmesan
- Any combination of mushrooms would be great!
- I used whole-wheat fettuccine, but any long-traded pasta works
Other comforting pasta recipes:
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 16 oz cremini mushrooms
- 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- 1/2 lb whole-wheat fettuccine
- 8 oz whole milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- stock pot
- Non-stick skillet
- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season with salt. It should be as salty as the sea. Cook fettuccine until aldente. Drain, do not rinse, and reserve pasta water.
- Place a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add butter. Once the butter begins to brown on the edges, start to swirl the pan. Swirl until the butter becomes a deep brown color and smells nutty. Turn the heat down to medium and add mushrooms. Cook mushrooms until brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and garlic, cook 1 minute. Add sherry. Simmer until reduce by half.
- Turn the heat down to a medium-low heat. Add cooked pasta, ricotta, remaining salt and about 1/2 cup of reserved pasta water. Toss until ricotta has coated pasta. Add parmesan cheese, toss again until cheese has melted. Season pasta with salt and pepper. Garnish with more parmesan cheese.