Pasta Shells with Portobello Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Boursin Sauce

Boursin, a French cheese available in most supermarkets, melts smoothly to make an appetizing sauce. We call for pepper Boursin, but the dish is equally good with the herb-and-garlic version; just add a little fresh-ground black pepper to the finished pasta.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound portobello mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved and then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1 5 1/2-ounce package pepper Boursin cheese
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 3/4 pound medium pasta shells

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large frying pan, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and well browned, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth and Boursin cheese and bring to a simmer while stirring.

  2. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and discard them. Cut the spears into 1/2-inch pieces. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until almost done, about 6 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook until it and the pasta are just done, about 4 minutes longer. Drain. Toss with the mushrooms and sauce.


Many stores carry packages of already stemmed and sliced portobello mushrooms, a real convenience. You can use ten ounces of the presliced portobello caps in place of the one pound of whole mushrooms we call for here.

Suggested Pairing

Asparagus is best with a high-acid white wine such as a Bordeaux Blanc from France or a California Sauvignon Blanc. These wines will also balance the rich cheese.

Photo © Melanie Acevedo Published November 2012

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