Pasta with Mushroom and Asparagus
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt, plus 3/4 tsp
  • 1 lb mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned, and finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry Marsala wine
  • 1 lb pasta
  • 1/2 lb fresh asparagus, halved lengthwise and crosswise
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and 1 tsp of the salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, until all the moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms have cooked down, about 10 minutes. Add the Marsala and continue cooking until almost all the wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Stir in remaining 3/4 tsp salt. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and continue to cook until pasta is tender but still firm to the bite and asparagus is crisp-tender, another 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and add it into the mushrooms, Marsala, and onions. Add the cream and Parmesan and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and pepper.
  3. Serve immediately, topped with additional Parmesan if desired.
RECIPE BACKSTORY This pasta was inspired by a Giada De Laurentiis episdoe of Everyday Italian. The original recipe, called Thimbles with Mushrooms and Artichokes, has pasta with a creamy, light Marsala sauce. I updated the recipe with asparagus instead of artichokes and added some garlic. Instead of “thimble” pasta, any twisty shape pasta will work. I used a corkscrew shaped pasta, one of my favorites. Try this for a quick and tasty dinner.