Creamy One-Pot Mushroom and Leek Pasta
This deeply satisfying pasta, brimming with rich umami, is made in just one pot, an approach that bolsters its flavors. Once the leek and mushrooms are caramelized and sticking to the pot, they’re deglazed to lift all the extra depth from the bottom of the pan. (Use any liquid for deglazing, whether water, wine, stock, vinegar or tomato juice.) This recipe leaves the choice of mushrooms up to you: Cremini and shiitake are a good combination, but you could even use rehydrated porcinis. If you are craving greens to cut through the richness, stir a few handfuls of baby spinach into the pasta just before you turn off the heat.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 3tablespoons olive oil
- 1leek, white part only, finely sliced (about 5 ounces)
- 2garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3cups mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake or oyster, torn or sliced (about 6 ounces)
- 1lemon, halved
- 1pound short pasta, such as orecchiette, cavatappi, gemelli or penne
- 4cups vegetable stock
- 2tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1cup whole-milk ricotta
- ½to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Step 1Heat a wide, deep 12-inch skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high. When hot, add the olive oil and leeks, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until softened and lightly golden, 5 minutes.
Step 2Stir in the garlic and mushrooms. Cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes, then stir and cook, undisturbed, until the mushrooms start to caramelize and stick to the bottom of the pan, another 2 to 3 minutes. (This allows the water from the mushrooms to evaporate, encouraging caramelization.) Add the juice of one lemon half to deglaze the pan and stir to combine.
Step 3Add the pasta and stock; stir well. Cover with lid and cook on medium heat. Begin tasting pasta 10 minutes after you add it. (All pasta shapes and brands will have different cooking times. You want the pasta to be just tender.)
Step 4Once the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and add the butter and parsley. Squeeze in the juice from the remaining lemon half and stir until butter is melted and dispersed. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 5To serve, top with ricotta, red-pepper flakes (to taste) and more chopped parsley.