I’m all for starting out 2023 with a killer, easy, nourishing bowl of pasta! Meaty mushrooms get roasted with thyme in the oven until golden brown and then tossed with the noodles in a simple creamy ricotta parmesan sauce that comes together in the blender. Be sure to top with plenty of parmesan and fresh herbs!
Mushrooms! Are one of my favorite ingredients to add to vegetarian dishes because they have a meaty texture and an umami-rich flavor. They’re a great source of minerals like selenium, potassium and zinc and are also high in B vitamins.
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms, stems removed, sliced ¼”-thick (about 5 cups)*
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp kosher salt divided
- 12-16 oz whole wheat or regular spaghetti**
- 1 cup (8 oz) whole milk ricotta cheese***
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Chopped parsley (or any fresh green herb), for topping (optional)
- * Any type of mushroom will do, you want 5 cups worth. You could also sub any other veggie (like broccoli) here.
- ** Use any pasta shape! Like fusilli, penne, rigatoni, etc
- *** See substitutions for a delicious vegan version.
- Note: you can skip the blender and add ricotta directly to the pot after draining the pasta. I found that blending created a much creamier sauce consistency, but both ways taste delicious!
- just add ricotta to the pot over medium-low heat and whisk until smooth (about 1-2 minutes). Turn off heat and whisk in the parm, lemon, garlic, pepper, and remaining salt. Then add pasta and mushrooms and toss to coat.
- Preheat oven to 425F or 400F convection. Line a baking sheet with parchment and add mushrooms, oil, thyme, and ½ teaspoon salt and immediately toss to coat. Spread out into an even layer and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown in spots, stirring halfway through.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to your desired doneness. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain and set aside.
- In a high-speed blender, add the ricotta, parmesan, lemon, garlic, pepper, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ cup of the reserved pasta water. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add pasta back to the pot along with the ricotta sauce and mushrooms and toss to coat. The pasta will continue to absorb the sauce as it sits, so keep your extra pasta water nearby (or use hot water) to add if it starts looking dry or you want it more saucy.
- Serve right away topped with parsley (if using), plenty of parmesan, a drizzle of good olive oil, and black pepper.
Items you can prep ahead (optional)
- Slice 1 lb cremini mushrooms into¼”-thick (about 5 cups)
- Grate ½ cup parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
- Make it vegan! Soak 1 cup cashews in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Then drain and transfer to a high-speed blender along with ¾ cup hot water (use pasta cooking water if you have it), 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1-2 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ tsp black pepper until totally smooth. Save your pasta water! Toss the pasta and mushrooms in the sauce and add pasta water to thin it out.
- To make gluten-free, use a gluten-free pasta alternative (Jovial Foods brown rice pasta is my favorite).
- If you’re not into mushrooms, you could easily substitute with roasted broccoli or any roasted veggie that you like in pasta.
- Sub ricotta with whole milk cottage cheese – you may need to add more pasta water to thin it out since cottage cheese tends to be creamier/thicker.
- Toss in some arugula for some greenery!
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Leftovers + Repurposing:
- Warm up leftovers in the microwave until warmed through. You can add a splash of water before microwaving to help loosen up the sauce/make it saucier.
- Add chicken or top with a boiled or fried egg!
- Toss in some fresh arugula or spinach to add some greens.