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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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