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Here's A Weeknight Pasta That You Can Make In 20 Minutes

There is no problem that pasta cannot solve.

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Photo by Lauren Zaser / Design by Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

It's hard to go wrong with pasta.

But it's easy to fall into a routine of noodles + canned tomato sauce. To change things up a bit, this recipe starts with mushrooms that are sautéed until they're golden brown. They're tossed in a creamy white sauce of Parmesan and chicken broth, and topped with greens. The result? A rich, comforting pasta that will fill you up, but not weigh you down.


(*To make this vegetarian, swap the chicken broth for vegetable broth, and the Parmesan for homemade vegan Parm.)

Here are the ingredients:

(For exact amounts and the full recipe with video, jump to the bottom of the post.)
Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

(For exact amounts and the full recipe with video, jump to the bottom of the post.)

In a large pot, heat water on the stovetop — remembering to salt the water first:

Do this FIRST, since waiting for water to boil can often take a while. By the time you've gathered ingredients and finished prep, your water should be ~ready and waiting~ for the pasta. Put the lid on and turn the heat to high to speed up the process.
Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Do this FIRST, since waiting for water to boil can often take a while. By the time you've gathered ingredients and finished prep, your water should be ~ready and waiting~ for the pasta. Put the lid on and turn the heat to high to speed up the process.

While the water is heating, peel and chop the garlic. Here's the easiest way to do that...

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Make 2 slits crosswise, and 3 to 4 cuts lengthwise:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

If it helps, you can temporarily keep the stem on to keep everything neatly together. (Just don't forget to discard it after the next step.)

Then when you slice across, you'll have instant minced garlic.

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Next, clean and slice the mushrooms:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Then you're done with prep.

By this point, your water should be boiling (or close to it). Once it is, drop in the pasta:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Give it a stir after a few minutes to make sure the noodles don't stick.

While the pasta cooks, start your sauce by melting a pat of butter in a pan over medium heat:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Add sliced mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Make sure the mushrooms are totally dry before you add them to the pan. Dry mushrooms will get nice and brown; wet mushrooms will just get soggy.

Cook the mushrooms for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until they shrink a bit and get really golden brown:

This is where you'll get that deep, rich flavor that will amp up your sauce.
Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

This is where you'll get that deep, rich flavor that will amp up your sauce.

Then add the garlic, and stir. Then the chicken stock, and two cheeses:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Keep a a close eye on the garlic — you only want to cook it solo for about a minute, because garlic burns easily. If it looks like it's starting to brown too quickly, add the chicken stock sooner.

And stir again until everything is combined:

If this isn't enough sauce for you, add a little bit more broth and cheese.
Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

If this isn't enough sauce for you, add a little bit more broth and cheese.

Then add the spinach:

Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

Cook, stirring occasionally, until it wilts down:

At this point, your pasta should also be done (or close to it). Once it is, drain it.
Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

At this point, your pasta should also be done (or close to it). Once it is, drain it.

Then add the cooked pasta directly to the pan with the sauce.

And stir until it’s evenly coated in the ~saucy~ glory. If it's a little too dry, add a little more stock or pasta water, one tablespoon at a time.
Alvin Zhou / BuzzFeed

And stir until it’s evenly coated in the ~saucy~ glory. If it's a little too dry, add a little more stock or pasta water, one tablespoon at a time.

Top with more Parm — and enjoy!

Lighter Alfredo Pasta With Mushrooms and Spinach

Recipe by Christine Byrne

Makes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS

½ Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 cups (about ½ pound) thinly sliced button mushrooms

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

⅓ cup chicken or vegetable broth

2 Tbsp. cream cheese

3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups fresh baby spinach

4 oz dry bucatini, fettuccine, or spaghetti, cooked according to the package directions and drained

PREPARATION

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and soft and any moisture they've let off has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, just until the garlic is fragrant, about a minute.

Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the broth, cream cheese, and Parmesan. Cook, stirring, until the cheeses have melted and a uniform sauce has formed and thickened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach and toss everything to wilt the spinach, then add the cooked pasta and toss to combine. Serve immediately, topped with extra Parmesan.

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Photos by Alvin Zhou and Lauren Zaser / Design by Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed

For even more step-by-step dinners, click here.

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