This recipe for weeknight pasta with mushrooms, Feta and Pecorino cheese is a twist on a simple Greek pasta dish which I grew up eating as a kid. One of the quickest pasta dishes my mom would make for us was elbow macaroni tossed with crumbled, sharp, local Feta cheese, freshly ground pepper and, of course, copious amounts of good olive oil. I often think of it as the Greek equivalent of the American classic, “mac and cheese”. Both are very simple and very comforting.
For this recipe, I just caramelized some onions, mushrooms and garlic, deglazed the skillet with white wine, added some stock, and cooked for a few minutes until the sauce was reduced. Then, the cooked pasta was added to the skillet, along with Feta cheese and some Pecorino Romano. This time I used only cremini mushrooms, but mixed varieties would be even better. If you have on hand a couple of shallots, use those instead of onions.
As it is the case with every simple recipe, choosing good ingredients is important, so, good Greek Feta cheese and extra virgin olive oil will make a big difference. Your only worry when making this dish is not to overcook the pasta. Other than that, it all comes together pretty fast. In all honesty it took me longer to search for the right light and photograph it than to make the actual dish!
Have a great weekend everybody!
- 4 TBSP. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. of small cremini (or mixed) mushrooms, patted dry and sliced
- 2 med. shallots, or 1 med. onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ sea salt
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
- pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 cup vegetable stock (or water)
- 12 oz. short shaped pasta (like elbow macaroni, or bow-ties)
- 3 TBSP. fresh Italian parsley, minced
- 1 cup Greek Feta cheese, drained and crumbled
- ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese
- --- extra virgin olive oil
- Heat a large skillet and, over medium heat, add the olive oil. When hot add the sliced (and completely dry) mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until nicely browned on all sides. Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Next, add the garlic, the fresh thyme, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes.
- While the mushrooms and onions are sautéing, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season the water with one tablespoon of salt and then add the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente (usually 2-3 minutes less than the instructions on the box, depending on the brand), reserve one-half cup of the cooking water and drain.
- Deglaze the skillet mixture with the white wine and cook for a few minutes so most of the alcohol is evaporated. Add the vegetable stock (or water) and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to a steady simmer. Cook uncovered for about 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated and all is left is about one-half cup of sauce.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Fold in the parsley, add the hot pasta and mix well. Check the pasta. If it has absorbed most of the sauce, add some (or all) of the reserved cooking water and stir well to incorporate. Stir in the crumbled Feta and toss lightly. Sprinkle with the Pecorino Romano cheese and a drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil. Serve at once.
Here are a few more easy pasta dishes from the blog’s archives you might enjoy:
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