Creamy Pasta with Crispy Mushrooms


Extra-virgin olive oil
4 tbsp
Mushrooms (such as maitake, oyster, crimini, and/or shiitake), torn into bite-size pieces
1 lb.
Medium shallots, finely chopped
Spaghetti or bucatini
1 lb
Peeled shrimp
1 lb
Heavy cream
1/2 cup
Parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup
Lemon, zest and juice
Unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tbsp
Parmesan, finely grated
1/2 oz
Kosher salt
to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
to taste


  1. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large pot over medium-high. Cook half of mushrooms in a single layer, undisturbed, until edges are brown and starting to crisp, about 3 minutes. Give mushrooms a toss and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until all sides are brown and crisp, about 5 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to a plate; season with salt. Repeat with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and mushrooms and more salt. (Here’s where you add shrimp if desired— sear shrimp until opaque on both sides, about 2-4 minutes)
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and return all of the mushrooms to the pot. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until shallots are translucent and softened, about 2 minutes.
  3.  Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente, about 2 minutes less than package directions.
  4.  Using tongs, transfer pasta to pot with mushrooms and add cream and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Increase heat to medium, bring to a simmer, and cook, tossing constantly, until pasta is al dente and liquid is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove pot from heat. Add lemon zest and juice, parsley, butter, ½ oz. Parmesan, and lots of pepper and toss to combine. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
  6. Divide pasta among bowls and top with more Parmesan.