I shivered through my son’s rainy September soccer game the other day. The skies look ominous when we arrived, but the rain and wind gusts didn’t let loose until the game started. I was ready to make haste to the car, but the other team was determined to play…even in a monsoon. Seriously, it’s 2nd grade soccer, not the World Cup! By the time I got home, I was soaked and chilled to the bone. All I could think about was food. Specifically WARM food. Something comforting to make me forget that I looked and felt like a wet noodle. Something exactly like this Pasta with Sausage, Mushrooms and White Wine Cream Sauce.
This is a wonderful dish for those crisp fall days where it’s cloudy and overcast. You know what I’m talking about, right? Those days when you can sense the change of season coming, and you feel like nesting. Or at least I do. And I can think of very few comfort foods that I enjoy more than pasta. There is nothing terribly fancy about this dish, but the combination of simple ingredients packs a delicious punch. Sauteed onions and mushrooms are combined with zesty Italian sausage. A lightweight, uncomplicated sauce is made by reducing white wine and then simmering it with cream, fresh rosemary and a pinch of nutmeg. Crushed red pepper flakes keep the flavor lively, and the whole dish is topped off with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Comfort. Food. Heaven.
My whole family inhaled this meal after that rain-soaked soccer game. I’ll let you in on a little secret: there were leftovers, but I told my family there wasn’t. Do you think poorly of me now? I hope not. I REALLY wanted those last bites for lunch the next day. My family should know that you don’t stand in the way of my comfort foods. And this Pasta with Sausage, Mushrooms and White Wine Cream Sauce is definitely one of mine. Try it; I’m pretty sure you’ll be hiding the leftovers from your family, too.
Pasta with Sausage, Mushrooms and White Wine Cream Sauce
12 ounces dry pasta, any medium shape (I used gemelli)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound bulk mild (or hot, if you prefer) Italian sausage
1 small onion, diced
8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1½ cups dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
1 cup heavy cream
1 heaping tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (plus more for serving)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Prepare pasta according to package directions, reserving ½ cup cooking liquid. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage to skillet and cook until lightly browned, stirring to crumble. Add onions and mushrooms to same skillet and cook until veggies are soft and sausage is fully cooked.
Pour wine into skillet with sausage and veggies, reduce heat to medium low and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in cream, rosemary, nutmeg and red pepper flakes.
Add cooked pasta to the sausage mixture and stir until combined and heated through. If necessary, thin sauce with reserved cooking liquid, one tablespoon at a time.
Serve with Parmesan cheese and extra crushed red pepper flakes.