According to the internet, which is always right, the Italian word for “autumn” is autunno. But then why isn’t the internet overflowing with references to “pasta autunno,” the fall version of pasta primavera? “Pasta autunno” gets 139 hits on Google. “Pasta primavera” gets 272,000. I mean, I understand that the bounty of spring produce is far more inspiring than that of the fall, but this still seems to me to be a serious omission. Especially since creamy, carby (yet healthy!) pasta like this is most enticing in the fall and winter. The only thing I can conclude is that people have not yet realized how amazing a pasta dish with Brussels sprouts and mushrooms can be.
I have very few aspirations with this blog, but how awesome would it be if I got to be the top Google hit for “pasta autunno”? I mean, I only have to get past 139 other pages. It’s totally doable, right?
UPDATE: about three minutes after publishing this post, I am already the top hit for “pasta autunno.” It’s much less exciting than I thought it would be.
Pasta autunno (creamy pasta with mushrooms and Brussels sprouts)
Adapted from Eating Well
7 ounces pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
10 oz white or cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
16 oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup dry sherry (or 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar and 1 tablespoon of water)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups low-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup finely shredded Asiago or parmesan cheese
smoked paprika (optional)
Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms release their liquid, 8 to 10 minutes.
When water is boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions.
Add garlic to skillet and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sherry (or vinegar and water), scraping up any brown bits; bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until almost evaporated, 10 seconds (if using vinegar) or about 1 minute (if using sherry). Remove vegetables from skillet (it’s okay if some bits stay in the skillet).
Reduce heat to medium-low and add butter to skillet. When butter is melted, add flour and cook for two minutes, whisking frequently. Pour in milk and cook, whisking frequently, until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. [Note: you could probably also make the sauce in a separate saucepan while the vegetables are cooking. Also, the amounts here produce quite a lot of cheese sauce—perhaps more than many people would want with this amount of pasta and vegetables, but I like things saucy.]
Add vegetables and pasta to the skillet and toss to combine. Serve sprinkled with additional cheese and smoked paprika, if desired.