Pasta Shells with Portobello Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Boursin Sauce
- SERVINGS: 4
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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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.