Creamy Mushroom-Fontina Pasta

Creamy Mushroom-Fontina Pasta

Growing up in an Italian family, I ate pasta no less than once a week. If my mom didn’t make any during the week, I was sure to get my fill at my grandma’s on Sundays. The thing about traditional Sunday dinners in my Italian family? Pasta was always, always, always served with red sauce. The only exception was a rigatoni, Italian sausage and green pepper pasta dish that my grandma used to make with an olive oil dressing. Even then, she still made a batch of “regular spaghetti” with red sauce… you know, just in case someone felt like eating that, as well. Italian grandmas, you truly have to love them.

Since I grew up on a strict red sauce diet, I’ve been doing some experimenting with other types of pasta dishes. I’ve found that I really love a simple, creamy sauce, wide pasta noodles and mushrooms. This dish is a compilation of all of those elements, and utterly fantastic.

Creamy Mushroom-Fontina Pasta

The sauce for this recipe is silky smooth and deliciously creamy, although it requires no actual cream. The secret? Using some of the liquid that the pasta was boiled in – it’s very starchy after boiling the pasta, and when paired with some butter, creates a perfect sauce with a creamy texture. For this dish, I also threw in some cubed fontina, which melts beautifully into the sauce. It’s creamy and has a mild flavor, which pairs really well with the cremini mushrooms. This just might be my new favorite pasta dish!

Are you from a red sauce or non-red sauce family? What are your favorite types of pasta?

Creamy Mushroom-Fontina Pasta

One year ago: Jalapeño Cheddar Bagels
Two years ago: Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Creamy Mushroom-Fontina Pasta

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

A fabulous pasta dish with a creamy sauce and tons of mushrooms.

Ingredients:

10 ounces dried wide pasta (I used mafalda)
½ cup unsalted butter, divided
20 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
½ cup finely chopped shallots (about 2 large shallots)
⅓ cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces Fontina cheese, diced small
½ cup chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain and reserve ¾ cup of the cooking water.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté half of the mushrooms, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes; transfer to a plate. Repeat with 2 tablespoons butter and the remaining mushrooms, transferring them to the plate with the rest of the mushrooms.

3. Add the shallots to skillet and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms back to the skillet, along with the wine; cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the reserved cooking liquid and bring to a boil. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and season with 1 teaspoon salt.

4. Reduce the heat to low and add the cooked pasta, cheese and parsley, tossing with the sauce until the pasta is coated and the cheese starts melting. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

(Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)

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77 Responses to “Creamy Mushroom-Fontina Pasta”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Tieghan on April 9, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Ok, italian families are the best! I could eat pasta everyday! This pasta look so good! I love the noodles you chose and the mushrooms sound awesome in this!! YUMMMM!

    Reply

  2. TheMaleBaker on April 9, 2013 at 12:59 am

    I absolutely love fontina cheese! Great pictures too!

    Reply

  3. Emily on April 9, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Oh my goodness, this looks incredible! I love that you used mafalda.

    Reply

  4. Ana on April 9, 2013 at 1:19 am

    That looks delicious!

    Reply

  5. Laura (Tutti Dolci) on April 9, 2013 at 1:55 am

    I love mushrooms in pasta, this looks fab!

    Reply

  6. Emily Hancock on April 9, 2013 at 3:30 am

    Thank you! I’ve been looking for a good creamy but cream-less (my mom is pretty lactose-intolerant) pasta sauce and this sounds delicious

    Reply

  7. Valerie on April 9, 2013 at 3:32 am

    This recipe looks awesome, Michelle, and I am definitely planning on trying it. Mafalda was one of my Dad’s favorite pasta noodles. I, too, grew up in an Italian household, where pasta was served every single Sunday without fail.

    Reply

  8. Brianna on April 9, 2013 at 4:12 am

    This looks absolutely fantastic! However I live in Australia so we don’t have a large selection of cheese available at our supermarkets – what would you recommend as a substitute?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 10th, 2013 at 9:49 am

      Hi Brianna, You could use any soft cheese that you like; totally personal preference depending on flavor. The original recipe called for taleggio or brie; you could also use mozzarella. Truly, though, anything soft that you enjoy would be fine to use here.

      Reply

      • pearse on December 11th, 2014 at 11:41 am

        drool worthy! any other substitution for fontina. soft cheese like…..? does mozzarella becomes stringy? thanks

        Reply

  9. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on April 9, 2013 at 7:22 am

    I am sooooo into this! Yum!

    Reply

  10. Nancy G on April 9, 2013 at 7:35 am

    I came from a strick ‘red sauce’ family: they don’t even eat vodka sauce because of the touch of cream. But I’m the rebel among the first generation Americans: I’ll eat pasta any which way. I’m definitely making this mushroom and fontina pasta this week, possibly tonight!! Thanks.

    Reply

  11. Erika on April 9, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Looks delicious! I love mushrooms!

    Reply

  12. Tracey on April 9, 2013 at 8:34 am

    We had a ton of red sauce growing up too, but I really have come to love other sauces just as much, if not more. This one sounds awesome, especially with the mushrooms and fontina – yum :)

    Reply

  13. Paula - bell'alimento on April 9, 2013 at 9:39 am

    I love everything in this bowl. Swoon!

    Reply

  14. Maria on April 9, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I’m coming over for dinner!

    Reply

  15. Cheryl P on April 9, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Ohhhhh – this looks divine! Will definitely be pinning this one! :)

    Reply

  16. Jill on April 9, 2013 at 10:03 am

    I live in Milwaukee and for us (unless someone actually is of Italian descent), the sauce is irrelevant. What’s important is that the pasta be cooked all the way. To us, al dente is still raw and considered “not done yet”. I KNOW al dente is the correct way to cook dry pasta, but even at 35, it’s still hard for me to get over the idea that I’m eating “raw” pasta.

    Reply

  17. Marcie @ flavor the moments on April 9, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I’m not Italian, but I sure do love pasta. I adore fresh ravioli and tortellini, and every shape there is. I love red sauce with Italian sausage, pesto, and sauces like this. This looks so creamy and delicious, and with all those mushrooms? Yum!

    Reply

  18. Jennifer Olds on April 9, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I love pasta of any shape or size. As a kid, spaghetti with just some grated parmesean was a favorite and staple of my diet. To this day, it’s my “go to”. But I’ve discovered a delicious lemon olive oil from a local vendor (Sierra de Oro) that pairs perfectly with my pasta and parm.

    Reply

  19. marie @ little kitchie on April 9, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Pasta in a creamy mushroom sauce it my absolute heaven. And with fontina cheese… DIVINE!

    Reply

  20. Monica on April 9, 2013 at 11:33 am

    This looks divine! I love fontina cheese in sandwiches but never thought to put it in pasta – I see it melts beautifully. This looks delicious!

    Reply

  21. Noreen on April 9, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Sounds and looks delicious. I also grew up in an Italian family. My dad told me (he would have been 93 this year) that when he was growing up my Nana would make he and his 6 siblings plain pasta every day, and on Sundays, they got red sauce. Thanks for the post. Brought back a wonderful memory!

    Reply

  22. collette on April 9, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Thats my kind of pasta! YUM :)

    Reply

  23. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on April 9, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    This is my kind of dish!! I love Italian food (being Italian and all) and love red sauces just as much as the white or wine sauces. Fontina cheese is the best!

    Reply

  24. Deon on April 9, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    My mom used to make something very similar to this when I was a kid, minus the fontina, which I think she had probably never ever experienced as an Idaho farm girl! I can almost smell how delicious this will be! Thank you!

    Reply

  25. Jenny on April 9, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    All my favorites in one dish. Looks so yummy :)

    Reply

  26. Kelly @ Life made Sweeter on April 9, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Yum, pasta, mushrooms and cheese? yes please:)

    Reply

  27. Sonya on April 9, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Is 8 ounces of cheese approx 1 cup? This looks so good! I’m getting ready to make it soon;)

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 10th, 2013 at 9:51 am

      Hi Sonya, Usually 8 ounces of cheese measures about 2 cups shredded; I didn’t measure it cubed up for this recipe.

      Reply

  28. Yohann on April 9, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I love Italian food. Pasta is so divers, you can alter it in countless ways. I’m making mushroom risotto tonight!

    Reply

  29. Ashley on April 9, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Ooooooh my! This looks amazing. Pasta is definitely a staple in our house. I adore fontina and mushrooms. What a great pairing!

    Reply

  30. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet on April 9, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    We have pasta about 5 times a week in our house. We are an Italian family because my husband is from the north of Italy. They do more than just red sauce, so we actually use it only about once a week.

    Reply

  31. Mmm a cream-less creamy sauce, what a delicious idea – this sounds wonderful Michelle! I am a HUGE pasta lover, unfortunately my hubby isn’t as crazy about it as I am – but I try to sneak it in whenever I can ;)

    Reply

  32. Gloria @ Simply Gloria on April 9, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    This was just meant to be…I received your post via email WHILE I was thinking of what to have for dinner! I need to make something with the mushrooms I bought yesterday…and you’ve sent this post out at the perfect time! You’re awesome!

    Reply

  33. Penny Richardson on April 9, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Did someone say fontina? I am so there! What marvelous pictures. Is there anything you can’t do :)

    Reply

  34. Susan on April 9, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    Oh, this is on my short list for this week! I think I’ll get some dried porcini mushrooms to bump up the shroom taste! I’m drooling now, thanks for posting this recipe!

    Reply

  35. MadSCAR on April 10, 2013 at 3:03 am

    This is amazing :) Love it!

    Reply

  36. Kari@Loaves n Dishes on April 10, 2013 at 8:41 am

    We’re not Italian, but we eat pasta at least once a week, and it’s rarely with red sauce. Nothing against red sauce, it’s just that it gives my husband heart burn. Sooooo…this is exactly the kind of pasta dish that we love at my home…I especially love your choice of cheese. YUMMO!

    Reply

  37. Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen on April 10, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Your pasta looks and sounds so delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Reply

  38. Mushrooms Canada on April 10, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Such a fantastic pasta! I enjoy pasta multiple times a week because it’s super simple and so darn tasty! This one is being added to the menu for sure!! Thanks for sharing…

    -Shannon

    Reply

  39. Kate on April 10, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    omg. this is the dinner of my dreams. i can never resist fontina + mushrooms + pasta. you’re killing me!

    Reply

  40. marla on April 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Oh wow does this pasta look great!

    Reply

  41. jyllzie on April 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    i happened to have an insane amount of fontina cheese in the frig that my brother gave me so made this last night…YUM! very versatile recipe. i reduced butter to 2/3 of a cube, added parboiled asparagus & (2) fresh chopped roma tomatoes, and winde whole wheat egg-type noodles. served with coarse grated parm.
    thank you…this recipe is a keeper!

    Reply

  42. Margaret on April 10, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    creamy cheesy sauce is so much better than a red sauce. And this looks delicious.

    Reply

  43. jules on April 10, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I married into an Italian family. from Jersey. Once a week my mother-in-law always made spaghetti and meatballs! Good Italian food always available. This looks so yummy. Thanks for the excellent recipe!

    Reply

  44. Kinsley @ Home | Styled on April 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    This recipe looks so amazing! Please come by my link party and post it for others to see! http://home-styled.blogspot.com/2013/04/link-party-show-your-style-sunday-2.html?m=1

    Reply

  45. Stacey Adams on April 10, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    This looks amazing!!! Just wondering what wine you use.

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 11th, 2013 at 12:44 pm

      Hi Stacey, I think that I used a sauvignon blanc… I had some leftover wine in the fridge so I used it up.

      Reply

  46. joannie on April 10, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    when i saw this, i thought i had died and gone to heaven. This recipe is a must try for me!

    XOXOJOANNIE
    ANURBAN-EXPLORER.BLOGSPOT.COM

    Reply

  47. Laura Dembowski on April 10, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    This is right up my alley! I love pasta but have never enjoyed red sauce. I won’t eat it on anything, pizza, pasta, etc.

    Reply

  48. Kevin (Closet Cooking) on April 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    You can’t go wrong with mushrooms in a creamy melted cheese sauce!

    Reply

    • Ed on April 11th, 2013 at 9:28 am

      Mind you you must be gutted this aint got no CORNED BEEF in it!!! :D lol

      Reply

  49. Emily on April 11, 2013 at 12:33 am

    When I was growing up, I thought each noodle had its own sauce — most of which were “red” (tomato based) but each with its own twist. My Italian mom was a wonderful cook. This recipe looks great. Thanks!

    Reply

  50. Ed on April 11, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Made me chuckle; Italian family = pasta ONCE a week??? Crikey. Non-Italian here… and a four times a week man ;) lol

    PS: chuck a bundle of fried bacon in with this too.

    Grazis tanto!!!

    Reply

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