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Pasta With Mushroom-Thyme Cream Sauce
Makes 4-6 servings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound sliced white mushrooms
Salt and ground black pepper
½ ounce dried-porcini mushrooms, rehydrated with 1 cup liquid reserved
1½ cups half-and-half
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup dry sherry
1 pound linguine or spaghetti

Preparation: Rehydrate the porcini mushrooms while the white mushrooms brown.

Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add white mushrooms and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until browned, about 8 minutes.

While mushrooms cook, puree rehydrated porcini mushrooms, 1 cup reserved porcini liquid (add water if short), half-and-half, soy sauce, thyme, and cornstarch in blender until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Stir shallot into saucepan with mushrooms and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in sherry and cook until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Briefly stir porcini mixture to dissolve cornstarch, then stir into saucepan and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, then drain pasta and return pasta to pot. 

Stir sauce into pasta and add reserved pasta cooking water as needed to loosen sauce.

Presentation: Serve immediately.

Source: The Best 30-Minute Recipe” from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated, America’s Test Kitchen, 2006.


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