Sep 26, 2016

Mushroom Alfredo Pasta

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
This creamy alfredo pasta is made with sautéed maitake, shiitake and morel mushrooms with crème fraîche.

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This mushroom alfredo pasta dish is inspired by a meal that I had in Nashville at Rolf & Daughters. I was amazed at the rich flavors of the sauce and intrigued by the way the mushrooms were cooked. I immediately knew that I had a challenge ahead of me in recreating this delicious recipe. While alfredo is typically made with heavy cream, I use a combination of reduced white wine finished with tangy crème fraîche and Parmesan instead.

I opt for a mix of maitake (hen of the woods), shiitake and morel mushrooms though any mix of your favorite mushrooms can be used. When sautéing the mushrooms be sure to work in batches so that the mushrooms develop a golden brown crust from searing, rather than steaming.

Mushroom Alfredo Pasta

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Maitake mushrooms – Maitake mushrooms, also known as hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, have a rich earthy taste. While they are predominately used in cooking, they are also lauded for their numerous health benefits. These mushrooms can be found at farmers markets, Asian markets and some Whole Foods stores.
  • Shiitake mushrooms – Shiitake mushrooms have a meaty texture with an earthy, buttery flavor. The stems of shiitakes are fibrous and need to be trimmed before the cap is sliced.
  • Morel mushrooms – Morel mushrooms are a wild mushroom with an earthy, nutty flavor in season in spring though they can be found dried year round. If using dried mushrooms, soak the mushrooms in warm water until soft to reconstitute them.
  • Crème fraîche – This recipe uses crème fraîche rather than heavy cream for a rich velvety alfredo sauce with a slightly tangy flavor.
  • White wine – Use a dry white wine for this mushroom alfredo so it won’t overpower the dish by making it too sweet. While I will use just about any white wine in a pinch I prefer cooking with Sauvignon blanc. Never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink!
  • Pasta – I love using paccheri rigate, thick rounds like over-sized rigatoni in this recipe. The shape holds the creamy sauce well though other tubular shapes like penne or a shape like farfalle work well too.
mushroom alfredo pasta with paccheri rigate and chives

How to Make Mushroom Alfredo

cooked paccheri rigate
Step 1: Cook the pasta. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta and return to the pot.

sautéed mixed mushrooms
Step 2: Cook the mushrooms.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat through. Working in batches if needed to not overcrowd the pan, add the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms reduce in size, about 3 minutes.

sautéed mixed mushrooms with butter
Step 3: Add butter and finish the mushrooms. 

Add the butter and season with salt and pepper. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms are golden brown, about an additional 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

sautéed garlic and shallots
Step 4: Sauté the shallots and garlic. 

Return the pan to medium heat, add the remaining olive oil and heat through. Add the garlic and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are tender, about 3 minutes.

simmered white wine in pan with sautéed shallots
Step 5: Add wine and reduce. 

Add the wine and let reduce by about half, about 4 minutes.

creamy white wine and creme fraiche sauce
Step 6: Whisk in crème fraîche.

Whisk in the crème fraîche until combined. Stir in the Parmesan followed by the parsley, chives and thyme then season with salt and pepper.

how to make mushroom alfredo pasta
Step 7: Add mushrooms back to sauce.

Return the mushrooms to the sauce and stir to coat.

how to make mushroom alfredo pasta tossed with paccheri rigate
Step 8: Toss with pasta. 

Add the mushroom sauce to the pasta and stir to combine, adding some of the pasta cooking water about ¼ cup at a time util the pasta is creamy. Serve topped with additional Parmesan cheese.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

Why are my mushrooms soggy?
  • Cleaning mushrooms. When cleaning your mushrooms, don’t run them under water like you would other vegetables. They act as a sponge and will absorb more water. Instead use a damp paper towel to clean any dirt or debris from the mushrooms.
  • Cook at a high heat. Since mushrooms hold excess water, if the heat of the pan is not high enough, the mushrooms may boil in the water that seeps out. You want the water to evaporate so the mushrooms turn golden brown.
  • Don’t over-crowd the pan. When cooking mushrooms, either cook them in batches or add them to the pan a little at a time. As the mushrooms cook and shrink, you can add more to the pan. If the pan is overcrowded the mushrooms will steam rather than sauté properly.
What to do if the sauce coagulates

If a cream sauce is left to sit, it can often coagulate and look clumpy. To thin the sauce I recommend adding additional pasta water, creme fraiche or a bit of heavy cream about a tablespoon at a time.

mushroom alfredo pasta recipe

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this creamy mushroom pasta recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Mushroom Alfredo Pasta

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound pasta of choice, I use Paccheri Rigate
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 12 ounces mixed mushrooms, I use a combination of maitake, shiitake and morels
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ¾ cups crème fraîche
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan, plus additional for serving
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves

Instructions:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat through. Working in batches if needed to not overcrowd the pan, add the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms reduce in size, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the butter and season with salt and pepper. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms are golden brown, about an additional 3 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
  • Return the pan to medium heat, add the remaining olive oil and heat through. Add the garlic and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are tender, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the wine and let reduce by about half, about 4 minutes.
  • Whisk in the crème fraîche until combined. Stir in the Parmesan followed by the parsley, chives and thyme then season with salt and pepper.
  • Return the mushrooms to the sauce and stir to coat.
  • Add the mushroom sauce to the pasta and stir to combine, adding some of the pasta cooking water about ¼ cup at a time util the pasta is creamy.
  • Serve topped with additional Parmesan cheese.

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  1. I loved this recipe! It was super good. I made two batches on the sauce. I felt like one wasn’t enough. Instead of noodles I used zoodles (zucchini spiraled). It was delish.

    • I buy them at Bristol farms, local farmer’s markets or I have actually had very good luck finding them at Asian markets. They are also called hen of the wood mushrooms!

  2. So excited to try this! What would you recommend as a starter and/or a side dish to complement the mushroom alfredo?

  3. Found this recipe while doing a Google search for hen of the woods recipes. This looks delicious, and I just might have to try it. Not sure where I would find crème fraîche.

    • Thank you!! It’s so creamy and delicious! You can typically find crème fraîche at whole foods or next to the sour cream at most grocery stores. Hope you enjoy Crystal!