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Tagliatelle in Champignon Sauce

by Kristen Kish


From her book: Kristen Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques: A Cookbook


Champignon Sauce:

-2 pounds white button mushrooms

-8 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil (plus more as needed)

-kosher salt

-6 ounces red pearl onions, blanched, peeled, and halved from stem to root (or frozen white pearl onions to substitute)

-2 tablespoons minced shallots

-1 tablespoons minced garlic

-1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme

-¼ cup dry red wine

-2 teaspoons dry vermouth

-2 cups roasted chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium stock

-2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

-1 cup heavy cream

-½ cup creme fraiche

-2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

-fresh ground black pepper


-freshly grated Parmesan cheese

-freshly ground black pepper


  • Cut the mushrooms into sizable pieces, leave the smallest mushrooms whole, half the medium sized ones, and quarter the large ones. You want the pieces to be large enough to stand up to a rich sauce. (keep in mind the mushroom pieces will shrink by a third or so during the cooking process).
  • In a large sauté pan heat 2 tablespoons of the grapeseed oil until it begins to shimmer. Add a portion of the mushrooms, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, and a pinch of salt. Sweat the mushrooms over medium high heat until the liquid begins to cook out; You will have to do this in three or four batches.
  • For each batch, use two tablespoons of oil. Let the mushrooms drain in the colander for 20 minutes. In a large tall sided sauté pan or Dutch oven, lightly coat the bottom of the pot with grapeseed oil. Heat over high heat until the oil is hot but not smoking.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the Pearl onions, season with salt, and cook until they are just browned on the edges and have become translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme, and sweat until the garlic is aromatic and no longer raw but not colored, 3 minutes.
  • Deglaze the pan with the wine and vermouth, and simmer until the liquid has completely evaporated. Pour in the stock and vinegar. Simmer until the stock has reduced by one third period add the heavy cream and continue to simmer until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Reduce the heat under your sauce to low and add the creme fraiche to melt: do not let the sauce boil once you’ve added the crème fraiche or it will separate. Warm through gently instead, then turn off the heat and stir in the chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (FYI you should have approximately 3 cups of sauce.) When the pasta water begins to boil, salt generously. lower the heat so that the water is at a simmer and add the pasta bit by bit. Cook until al dente – about 3 minutes. Remove the pasta using a slotted spoon or spider and transfer it directly into the sauté pan with the sauce, using splashes of pasta water to thin out the sauce if it has thickened too much.
  • To serve, portion the pasta into large shallow bowls and top with parmesan and a couple of turns of freshly ground pepper to finish.

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