Tonight’s chef-inspired menu of brown butter mushroom pasta comes from a deep craving after seeing a table of beautifully laid out mushrooms at a farmer’s market.
I do not think this will surprise anyone, I did after all create my own version of a farmer’s market on the farm, but I will tell you just in case you missed the memo. I love Farmer’s Markets! I mean, what’s not to love? Local producers, fresh products, and the nostalgia of mom-and-pop shops.
Last Saturday my son’s ball team, Champaign Clippers, (they are looking for players if you are interested) had a booth at the Urbana Farmer’s Market. It’s been a few years since I been to this market and I was excited to visit not only my son’s booth but some favorite vendors I haven’t seen for a while.
My son suggested I visit, Middlefork Mushroom Co. As soon as I saw the mushrooms, I knew I needed some, and now. All I could see was a delicious brown butter mushroom pasta using those mushrooms! I choose the blue oyster mushroom because oyster mushrooms absorb the flavors around them giving the dish more intensity. They also hold up very well in long simmers.
Using beef broth and caramelized onions I was able to create a deeper, richer dish. Softening the mushrooms in brown butter didn’t hurt either. Butter and salt are the “aaahhhhhh” of cooking. The result was a delicious, earthy, dish packed with intense flavors. So good!
- Remove the butter and use more olive oil instead.
- Remove the beef broth and use vegetable stock instead.
Brown Butter Mushroom Pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter divided
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ pound blue oyster mushrooms locally grown if you can find them
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 4 cups beef broth
- 3 – 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and 2 tablespoons butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until deeply caramelized, about 25-30 minute. Halfway through the cooking process add a generous pinch of salt to sweat the onions.
- When the onions are caramelized add the garlic, mushrooms, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté for 5 – 8 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to soften.
- Add the wine and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon, or spatula, to deglaze the pan, about 2 minutes.
- Pour in 3 cups of the beef broth and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook on a medium heat for 6-8 minutes if using fresh pasta, or 10 – 12 minutes if dried pasta. Cook until the pasta is nearly al dente and you have a rich, brown onion sauce.
- In a jar fitted with a lid, add the flour and remaining 1 cup of beef broth. Shake vigorously to remove any lumps. Gently stir into the pasta dish, add the thyme, and cook until the sauce thickens, about 2 – 3 minutes. Serve with extra thyme, if desired.