So, you're cooking pasta. It can be spaghetti, macaroni, whatever… and you do as you've always done: Just pour the entire pot into the colander, letting the boiling hot water circle down the drain. But stop! Wait! Rewind the tape! That starchy, hot water is a golden ticket to a creamy sauce, if you know what you're doing. Here, we mix it with ricotta, making a creamy base for a subtle yet powerful pasta with mushrooms and thyme. Waste not, want not.
Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente, 7-9 minutes.
Reserve ½ cup pasta water. Drain pasta in a colander and set aside.
While pasta boils, prepare ingredients.
Prepare the Ingredients
Cut mushrooms into ¼" slices.
Peel and mince shallot.
Place a large non-stick pan over medium heat and add 1 tsp. olive oil. Add panko to hot pan and stir constantly until browned, 1-2 minutes.
Transfer panko to a plate or small bowl. Wipe pan clean and reserve.
Cook the Mushrooms
Return pan used to toast panko to medium-high heat and add 1 tsp. olive oil.
Add mushrooms to hot pan and stir occasionally are browned, 3-5 minutes.
Transfer mushrooms to a plate and season with a pinch of salt.
Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean.
Make the Sauce
Return pan used to cook mushrooms to medium-high heat and add 1 tsp. olive oil.
Add shallot, garlic, and thyme (reserve a pinch for garnish) to hot pan and cook 30-60 seconds.
Add white wine and cook until almost evaporated, 30-60 seconds.
Add cream, ricotta, reserved pasta water, and half the Parmesan (reserve remaining for garnish). Stir together and bring to a simmer. Stir often until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Season with ½ tsp. salt. Remove from burner.
Finish the Dish
Gently fold mushrooms and pasta into sauce.
Plate dish as pictured on front of card, garnishing with remaining Parmesan, reserved thyme, and toasted breadcrumbs. Bon appétit!