The Washington Post

Creamy Mushroom and Shrimp Pasta

Creamy Mushroom and Shrimp Pasta 4.000

Scott Suchman for the Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Dinner in Minutes Aug 11, 2021

Fresh mushrooms, sauteed until just golden, give this dish an earthy base. Its creamy sauce coats the pasta shells making this an ideal bowl to eat while curled up on the sofa watching a movie or reading a book. Or, make a big green salad and open a bottle of dry white wine, such as a sauvignon blanc, to make it the main attraction on the dinner table.

Total time: 40 mins

Storage Notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • Fine sea salt or table salt
  • 8 ounces medium pasta shells, or your favorite small pasta shape
  • 1 tablespoon avocado, grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1 small yellow or white onion (about 4 ounces), chopped
  • 1 small serrano or jalapeño chile pepper, seeded, ribbed and thinly sliced (see NOTES)
  • 10 to 12 ounces fresh mushrooms, such as cremini or button, wiped clean, sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1/4 cup cognac or brandy (see NOTES)
  • 3/4 cup light cream or half-and-half (see NOTES)
  • 24 large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • Pinch ground nutmeg (optional)
  • Fresh thyme leaves or parsley, for serving (optional)


Bring a medium pot filled with lightly salted water to a boil over medium-high heat and cook the pasta according to package instructions, or until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water and drain.

While the pasta is cooking, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and just starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add the chile and the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms steam, releasing their moisture, and start to turn golden, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cognac and cream. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer, increasing the heat if needed.

Add the shrimp, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, the pepper and nutmeg, if using. Stir and toss the shrimp until they curl, turn pink and are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Taste, and add more salt or pepper, if needed. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the pasta and, if needed, about 1/4 cup of the pasta water until the pasta is fully coated with sauce. Add more pasta water, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is the desired consistency.

Transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl or platter. Garnish with thyme or parsley, if using, and serve.

NOTES: In place of cognac or brandy, you can use white rum, white wine or apple or peach juice.

You can substitute 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes in place of the fresh chile.

In place of the cream, you can use 1/2 cup whole milk or canned coconut milk.

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Recipe Source

From recipes editor Ann Maloney

Tested by Ann Maloney.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (1 1/4 cups) based on 6: 302

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 13g 20%

Saturated Fat: 6g 30%

Cholesterol: 68mg 23%

Sodium: 270mg 11%

Total Carbohydrates: 32g 11%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 3g

Protein: 11g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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