Thursday, February 27, 2014

Creamy Mushroom Sauce over Pasta (Pressure Cooker Style)

In recent weeks, I've been cooking up a storm with my pressure cooker, especially on work nights. Before you non pressure cooker owners decide to abandon reading this post, hold on! You can always make this recipe on the stovetop. It'll just take a bit longer.  (Pressure cooker usually decreases conventional cooking time by at least 50%-- and sometimes 75%).  Homemade rice pudding in 16 minute? Incredible!

While my family (self-included) appreciates a  good cut of steak,  I do like to prepare meatless dinners.   I guess you could call me a "flexitarian".

I downloaded America's Test Kitchen's book, "Pressure Cooker Perfection", and then forgot about it-- for several months.  Recently, I began to read it from cover to cover. It's a good book, with basic information on pressure cooking  from the science behind it, to choosing which pressure cooker is best.

I'm a big fan of ATK's recipes, and have posted quite a few them. I bookmarked a few recipes, from this book, which I'll be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks.  This recipe caught my eye, because I love mushrooms-- while my husband is indifferent about them. 

He has said that he does like shiitake mushrooms, so when I saw this recipe had a blend of shiitake, cremini and portobello mushrooms-- well, that settled it.  I had to make this.

We begin by cooking onions until softened, then adding thyme, garlic, flour. Pretty basic, right? Next, we add chicken broth (vegetable broth could be substituted to make this truly vegetarian) and sherry.

We add in the mushrooms, and give it all a good stir. Lock on the lid, and pressure cook for 25 minutes. That gives me time to start the pasta to cooking, and to tidy up the kitchen.

NOTE:  I would guess that if one doesn't have a pressure cooker, you would have to cook the mushrooms first, and then add it to this sauce. Why? Because the pressure cooker will draw out the moisture of the mushrooms which will then develop the sauce even more.  That's the beauty of a pressure cooker.

After doing a quick-release of pressure, I carefully remove the lid.  I add some heavy cream, give it a good stir and bring it to a simmer for about 5 minutes, so the sauce can thicken.  Smells great!

 With the heat turned off, grated Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped parsley is added.

The sauce was bubbly hot, as I poured it over cooked pasta. Dinner is ready!
TASTING NOTES:  I liked that this dinner didn't take a lot of prep work to pull together.  To be honest, I found the mushrooms already sliced! That saved a lot of time.  My husband really liked this dish, and I believe him, because he went back for seconds. This makes a LOT of servings-- I'd say about 8 servings. The next day, I thought this reheated very well for lunch.

It's a welcome break to eat meatless dinners, and this one will definitely become a part of that rotation.

I keep touting the virtues of pressure cooking, yet I still hear all the horror stories and fears about this fun way to make soups, stews, beans and roasts.  I hope that I can convert more skeptics into digging out their pressure cooker.  Or, buy one. You won't regret it.  I'm on a roll!  I've got a few more pressure cooker recipes to go.  Now that we are finally getting some rain (but not enough to end California's drought), I'm all about dinners like this.

Before we know it, Weber grilling season will be back!

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Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife said...

After quite a few years of just cooking them anyways I have converted my husband to a mushroom lover and this looks so good!

Big Dude said...

Looks delicious Debby - I especially like the first shot. After 30+ years, I had to replace Beverly's pressure cooker as I couldn't find parts.

Barbara Bakes said...

I don't know how I missed this recipe in the cookbook. It sounds fantastic.

Cheryl Dunkin said...

You changed up the look of your blog, I love it. I am back in the saddle for at least one day a week!

Kate said...

We would love this dish! I adore mushrooms so I know I would love...I think I would end up doing it the long way. I have always been afraid of the pressure cooker!

Christine said...

Absolutely delicious looking. My dear Mother instilled a paralyzing fear of pressure cookers when I was little that I don't think I'll ever get over it. So I appreciate you humoring us by including tips for making such recipes by other means. I would be so sad not to be able to make this wonderful dish. Thanks Debby!

Bill said...

I've only got one word for this dish, Debby...Yum! You've motivated me to start using my pressure cooker more creatively. I've got an electric one that I love and I'm going to start using it more. This pasta looks amazing! BTW, I read on your blog several months ago about the Super Peel for making pizza. I asked for one for Christmas and it works beautifully! Thanks for the tip!!

Joanne said...

Alright, it's official...we are going to register for a pressure cooker! I've just heard too many good things not to!

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

I'm preparing more and more meatless meals these days. I wouldn't miss the meat with a beautiful dish like this, Debby. I may break down and buy a pressure cooker one of these days...when I can get the image of my grandmother's old one out of my heaad.

Wave Watcher said...

Hi Debby,
I bought all the mushrooms to make this tomorrow. Looks and sounds yummy. I found this link that is an adapted version that doesn't use a pressure cooker.