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Pasta Shells with Portobello Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Boursin Sauce

Yield 4
Boursin, a French cheese available in most supermarkets, melts smoothly to make an appetizing sauce. We call for pepper Boursin, but the dish is equally good with the herb-and-garlic version; just add a little fresh-ground black pepper to the finished pasta.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound portobello mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved and then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1 5 1/2- ounces package pepper Boursin cheese
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 3/4 pound medium pasta shells

How to Make It

  1. In a large frying pan, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and well browned, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth and Boursin cheese and bring to a simmer while stirring.

  2. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the spears into 1/2-inch pieces. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until almost done, about 6 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until it and the pasta are just done, about 4 minutes longer. Drain. Toss with the mushrooms and sauce.

  3. Convenient Portobellos: Many stores carry packages of already stemmed and sliced portobello mushrooms, a real convenience. You can use ten ounces of the presliced portobello caps in place of the one pound of whole mushrooms we call for here.

  4. Wine Recommendation: Asparagus is best with a high-acid white wine such as a Bordeaux blanc from France or a California sauvignon blanc. These wines will also balance the rich cheese.

Quick From Scratch Pasta