Pasta Shells with Portobella Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Boursin Sauce

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pasta Shells with Portobella Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Boursin Sauce from Food and Wine
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-ounce package pepper Boursin cheese
1 pound asparagus
3/4 pound medium pasta shells
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.

Here's what you'll need:

Put some water on to boil for the pasta and cook pasta according to directions.

Take the stems off of the mushrooms.

Slice them into 1/4 inch slices.

Take the hard stems off of the asparagus.  There is a natural breaking point in an asparagus stem.  Just grab it and bend it and the hard part will pop right off.

Cut the asparagus into 1/2 inch pieces.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a pan.

Toss the mushrooms in the pan.  Add salt.  Let them cook until they are soft and brown, about 7-8 minutes.

Add the chicken broth to the mushrooms.

Add the Boursin cheese.

Add the asparagus stems to the pasta.  Let them cook for about 4-6 minutes or until tender-crisp.

The cheese sauce will start to thicken.  I turned it down.

Add the pasta to the sauce and mix.

Here's what you'll end up with:

Our Thoughts:
Have you had Boursin cheese?  If not, go to your grocery store and buy some NOW!  It is a creamy, garlicy, herby French cheese that I cannot get enough of.  I can imagine being in France and buying a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread, and some Boursin cheese and having that be my meal.  tip:  At our local grocery store, Boursin cheese is rather expensive; however, I found it at Costco and you get 3 packages for under $7!

Anyway, on to this dish, this dish is restaurant worthy.  The contrasting textures of the shells, asparagus, and mushrooms work perfectly.  I was afraid that the asparagus would not cook properly or take on too much of the starch from the pasta but I was wrong.  It add just a bit of a crunchy texture and combined with the Earthy mushrooms, it was fantastic.

I ended up using about 1 1/4 packages of Boursin cheese but that is just because I used a whole box of the pasta.  I wanted to make sure that all of the pasta had sauce and it was just a little too thin with that many noodles and only 1 round of the cheese.

Hope you enjoy!


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