This isn't your workaday pasta with typical flavors and normal textures. This pasta levels up, bringing entirely new players to this ballgame. Starting with the serious umami punch from the portobello mushrooms, these meaty morsels are infused with sweet maple seasoning, making for a delightful contrast. This pasta also brings you the creamy pungency of blue cheese and the salty crunch of pretzel croutons. All these odd combinations and different preparations, resulting in pure pasta magic.
Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente, 10-12 minutes.
Reserve ¼ cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta in a colander and return to pot to keep warm.
While pasta cooks, prepare ingredients.
Prepare the Ingredients
Using a spoon, scoop out black undersides (gills) of portobello mushrooms. Cut mushrooms into ¾" dice.
Cut pretzel bun into ¾" dice.
Make Croutons and Marinate Tomatoes
In a mixing bowl, combine pretzel bun pieces, 2 tsp. olive oil, half the garlic (reserve remaining for tomatoes), and a pinch of pepper.
Place bun pieces on prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Bake in hot oven until golden brown, 6-8 minutes.
While croutons bake, combine tomatoes, remaining garlic, white balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp. olive oil, ¼ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in mixing bowl used for croutons (no need to wipe clean). Set aside.
Cook the Portobello Mushrooms
Place a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp. olive oil and portobello mushrooms to hot pan.
Stir occasionally until browned, 6-8 minutes.
Stir in smokehouse maple seasoning.
Finish the Pasta
Stir in cream, half the blue cheese (reserve remaining for garnish), pasta cooking water, pasta, and ¼ tsp. salt. Bring to a boil and cook, 1 minute.
Remove from burner and stir in half the croutons. Taste, and season with a pinch of salt, if desired.
Plate as pictured on front of card, topping pasta with arugula, tomatoes, remaining croutons, and remaining blue cheese. Bon appétit!