Creamy Mushroom Pasta
Loading Video...
Recipe courtesy of Emily Weinberger for Food Network Kitchen

Passive Method Creamy Mushroom Pasta

Getting reviews...
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Take everything you ever learned about cooking pasta (hello large volumes and rapidly boiling water) and throw it out the window. Okay, maybe don’t do that. But, if you are looking for a way to conserve water, save energy or, even better, infuse your pasta with the flavors of meaty mushrooms, aromatics and cream, this steamed pasta cooked with the passive method might become your new obsession—and it's ready in under 30 minutes. The super luxe pasta dish is cooked directly in a heavy cream mixture and takes advantage of the concentrated starchy cooking liquid to magically make a sauce, no straining or reserving of the pasta water needed. Mascarpone and Parmesan folded in at the end help create the silkiest creamy sauce and a rich decadent meal. Crispy wild mushrooms make the ultimate textural garnish. No need to transfer to a bowl: serve it directly from the pot so the toothsome noodles continue to soak in all the delicious sauce.



  1. Combine the heavy cream, garlic, shallot, 1 tablespoon of the thyme, 2 teaspoons salt, a generous amount of pepper and 1 1/2 cups water in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Add the pasta and cremini mushrooms and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 1 minute, then turn off the heat. Stir the pasta a few times quickly, then cover and steam until the pasta is al dente, 9 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fancy mushroom mix, remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and a generous amount of pepper and cook, stirring a few times, until the mushrooms are softened and turning crispy on the bottom, 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. When the pasta is al dente, turn the heat back to low and stir in the mascarpone, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper until silky and smooth. Leave in the pot to serve, stirring occasionally over low heat, until the sauce is thick and velvety. Garnish in the pot with the crispy mushrooms and a good drizzle of balsamic vinegar, if desired.