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meatless monday featuring mushroom pea pasta in a light cream sauce

Posted on April 30th, 2012  |  7 Comments

It’s Monday, what do you crave? (other than the weekend)

Looking for something colorful, hearty yet light, creamy and crunchy?

Well shooo, me too!

This  here dish was a total craving splurge.

It started with the mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes and freshly plucked peas hanging out in my fridge, undoubtedly chatting it up.

They must have collided with my newly acquired cilantro root and got to talking, cause when the time came for cooking, everyone jumped on in.

Here’s a little play by play on the sauce creation:

My favorite part was draining the pasta water over the raw peas, blanching them just enough to take the edge off but leaving the crunch!

Other than craving a light creamy sauce, I really needed to use up my unused veggies from last week’s trip to the farmers market to make room for this week’s bounty.

Mushrooms, garlic chives and peas were on my need-to-go list, but this dish would work with an array of vegetables. Leftover leeks, greens, broccoli, asparagus and so much more would be absolutely Spring-i-fied splendid with this sauce.

And don’t worry if you don’t have cilantro root, though I’d make an effort to try to snatch some up next time you’re at a farmers market or the like. Especially if you into playing around with new ingredients in the kitchen.

Feeling inspired by a creamy goat cheese with whole wheat pasta I’ve made before, and almost don’t want to link to because the photographs are in my beginning camera phase, I was really happy to achieve a creamy sauce without 1/2 pint of cream.

Half and half is what we have in our fridge, but I’d imagine any milk down to 1% would work… not so sure about skim, the point of the sauce is thick and creamy, not watery and separated, that said, I have seen recipes with it.

When it comes to throw together, almost one pot meals, ease, flexibility and comfort work pretty darn well together to bring about a drama free meal sure to please everyone.

If not, just douse it in cheese… I doubt anyone would mind.

Happy Monday!


What have you been craving lately?

mushroom pea pasta in a light cream sauce

by lafig

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes


Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1/2 lb. whole wheat pasta
  • 3.5 oz. wild mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 oz. sun dried tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cilantro root, finely chopped
  • 1/2-1 c. fresh peas
  • 3 bunches garlic chives, roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. stock (vegetable to keep vegetarian, but chicken or beef would work too)
  • 1/2 c. half and half (substitute: whole milk, 2% or 1%)
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • grate Parmesan cheese, optional


Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil, once boiling, add the pasta, cook until al dente. Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms, cilantro root, sun dried tomatoes and garlic chives, use a food processor to mince the garlic and shallot. Mix the cornstarch with the stock and set aside.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and garlic, sauté for 1-2 minutes then add the mushrooms and cilantro root. (Feel free to add spices of your choice here.) Saute for 4-5 minutes until tender. Remove mushrooms from pan, set aside and return pan to stovetop.

To empty pan add the stock mixed with cornstarch and use a wooden spoon to scrap off all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Next add in the chives and sun dried tomatoes to cook for a few minutes in the sauce.

Turn heat to low and add the half and half, stir to combine, add back in the mushrooms and finish it off with a nice grate of nutmeg and salt.

Once the pasta is cooked (should be happening around time sauce is done) add it directly to the pan from the pot, using a slotted spoon to drain most of the liquid. (I poured the remaining pasta liquid in a colander over the peas to blanch them for a second, if you want more tender peas you can always toss them into the pasta water with 1 or 2 minutes left of cooking time.)

Add peas to pasta and toss with creamy sauce. Turn off heat and serve!

Serve with a grate of Parmesan cheese, optional.


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7 Responses

  1. Amandla says:

    This is a great fast meal for Meatless Monday and the photos are amazing. Here is another fast noodle based dish that can also be vegan http://www.miratelinc.com/blog/meatless-monday-with-sesame-szechuan-noodles/

  2. Beautiful post! Cilantro root?! How awesome is that!

  3. […] meatless monday featuring mushroom pea pasta in a light cream sauce (thetalkingkitchen.com) […]

  4. This looks AMAZING! I have to try this soon so I’ll be putting this on my grocery list this week. I have to say, I can just sit there and drool at your photography. This particular shoot really was inspiring. Absolutely gorgeous!

  5. […] Bone-in chicken breast gets a quick marinade in ginger, orange juice and zest, and cilantro stems. This past week I’ve really enjoyed using the entirety of the herbs and vegetables I purchase. Feels good to waste less and find such great flavor in places I never thought to look. Like stems. and roots. […]

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