This is a deliciously easy dish to prepare and rich with hearty flavor. Roasting things in the oven is one of my favorite winter activities, since it both warms the house and frees up some time to do other things while the food roasts.
We use orecchiette (Italian for “little ears”) because the cup-shaped hollows are perfect for holding the delicious sauce, but feel free to use whatever shape pasta strikes your fancy.
2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as white button, shiitake, cremini, Portobello, and oyster, trimmed and sliced
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt or kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 pound orecchiette, cavatelli, or other cup-shaped pasta
1 bunch (10 to 12 ounces) fresh spinach, leaves torn and tough stems discarded
1 cup crème fraiche, half-and-half or sour cream
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 450. Lightly oil a large shallow roasting or half sheet pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms, shallots, garlic, sage, and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat well. Arrange in a single layer in the pan.
3. Roast for about 25 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and well browned but not dry, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally for even cooking.
4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Stir the spinach into the pot with the pasta, then drain well. The spinach will be just wilted.
5. Transfer the pasta and spinach to a large serving bowl. Add the crème fraiche and toss well. Add the mushrooms and cheese and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve at once.
Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from The Roasted Vegetable, by Andrea Chesman (Harvard Common Press, 2002). Copyright 2002 by Andrea Chesman. Reprinted by permission of Harvard Common Press.
Adapted from The Roasted Vegetable, by Andrea Chesman (Harvard Common Press, 2002).