Wild Mushroom Linguine

This is great as a first course, or as a delicious vegetarian main dish when served with a salad and a baguette. Use a mixture of the freshest mushrooms you can find and vary according to the season. For a perfect pot of linguine, cook pasta in salted boiling water for 13 minutes. This gives the water time to come back to a boil. You should see starchy white bubbles around the edges of the pot, which is a good indication that the pasta is ready. After draining the linguine, return it to the pot with about 1/4 cup of the starchy cooking water. This will keep each strand separated and will help to thicken the sauce.

4 TBS butter, divided
2 TBS canola oil
1 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, baby portobello, etc.)
3 shallots, peeled and minced
1 TBS fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup Chardonnay
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Salt & pepper
1 pound linguine, cooked and drained
1 1/2 cups Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
Freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese
Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced

In a large skillet, melt 2 TBS butter with the oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms, shallots and thyme. Sauté until tender, about 12 minutes. Add Chardonnay and simmer until most of liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add remaining 2 TBS butter, heavy cream and broth. Simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Mix linguine with mushroom mixture, tossing to coat. Serve topped with tomatoes, cheese and fresh parsley.

Serves 4 – 6 as a main course.

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