Creamy Mushroom & Roasted Asparagus Pappardelle Pasta is an easy springtime vegetarian recipe. Coated in a light white wine cream sauce and sprinkled with a crunchy topping of panko and preserved lemon, it’s versatile, delicious, and perfect for the season.
There are many things to love about a delicious pasta dish, but one of the most beautiful aspects is just how adaptable they are. The shapes of the pasta can change; the vegetables swapped in and out; it can be left alone or bulked up with proteins like chicken and shrimp.
I don’t really have a story or an anecdote to go along with this recipe for Creamy Mushroom & Roasted Asparagus Pappardelle Pasta with Panko and Preserved Lemon Crunch – it’s just a delicious dish that I could happily eat day after day.
Aside from just having an irrational personal obsession with fresh pappardelle, the inspiration for this dish stemmed from two things – the beautiful spring season, and a desire to create more vegetarian-friendly recipes for this site. As a meat-eating household, my recipes have been disproportionately vegetarian-unfriendly lately. In real life, I’m always excited and happy to host for whatever dietary needs my family and friends might have, even if it’s a challenge. While I suspect the site will always lean a bit to the carnivorous side, this Creamy Mushroom & Roasted Asparagus Pappardelle Pasta carries with it my wish to provide a bit more balance as I learn and grow.
Creamy Mushroom & Roasted Asparagus Pappardelle Pasta
This recipe is inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Crunchy Pappardelle from the famous cookbook Plenty. It’s coated with a very simple white wine cream sauce and topped with a crunchy mix of toasted panko and minced preserved lemon. The inclusion of asparagus makes the dish perfectly seasonal for spring; now is the perfect time to eat up as much of the vegetable as you can! I think asparagus tastes best roasted, so I made sure to include that style of preparation here. It definitely adds nice texture and flavor that you wouldn’t get from steaming or boiling.
While it might seem like a small component, I urge you not to skip the crunchy topping. The funky, salty preserved lemons add a fantastic brightness to the dish. I’ve mentioned preserved lemons in the past, and I’ve made them two years in a row, but I often struggle to figure out where to use them. This bread crumb topping is a perfect way to add great flavor to a lot of simple dishes.
If you don’t have preserved lemon on hand, you can easily just add a tsp of lemon juice to the toasting panko or a sprinkling of fresh lemon zest. It won’t be exactly the same, but it will add a similar pop to the finished dish that shouldn’t be missed.
Despite the cream sauce, this pasta makes for a light meal that doesn’t weight you down. If you’d like to extend it or make it more filling, feel free to add your favorite protein. The sauce would taste absolutely fantastic on some pan-seared or oven-roasted chicken breast, and I imagine that will be how I’ll make this Creamy Mushroom & Roasted Asparagus Pappardelle Pasta in my own home in the future.
Oh, and one more thing: Despite being super simple to make, this recipe will be sure to impress with how fancy the finished product looks! The green of the asparagus and the yellow of the preserved lemons give great pops of color, and there is something classy about using fresh pappardelle. Nothing wrong with a meal like that.
Without further ado, check out the recipe for this delicious seasonal dish. Happy Spring!
Creamy Mushroom & Roasted Asparagus Pappardelle with Panko and Preserved Lemon Crunch
Recipe adapted from Plenty
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb)
- 2 cups button mushrooms, chopped
- 2 Tbsp salt, divided (plus more to taste)
- 3 tsp black pepper, divided
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 tsp thyme leaves, from about 6 sprigs
- 1/2 tsp white granulated sugar
- 1 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 quarters preserved lemon, minched
- 3 Tbsp panko bread crumbs
- 1 lb fresh pappardelle
- Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for topping
Preheat oven to 425°F as you prepare your ingredients.
Spread the asparagus out on a foil-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with 1 tsp each salt and pepper, and drizzle with about 2 Tbsp olive. Toss so that all pieces are evenly coated, and roast for 15-20 minutes until bright green but not burnt. When cooked to desired doneness, cut the asparagus into pieces about 1 inch in length.
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, lightly toast the panko for 5-10 minutes and toss with the minced preserved lemon. Remove from heat and set to the side until needed.
Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the chopped mushrooms for 5 minutes, sprinkling with 1 tsp each salt and pepper. Stir in the wine, bay leaves, thyme, and sugar. Bring to a gentle boil and allow the mixture to reduce by 1/3, about 10-15 minutes. Once reduced, stir the cream into the wine mixture, adding an additional 1 tsp salt and pepper (or more to taste), and allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.
While the wine mixture is reducing, start bringing a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Add 1 Tbsp salt and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving a half cup of the cooking liquid.
Toss the the chopped asparagus and then the pasta in with the finished sauce, adding the reserved pasta water if needed to make a silkier texture. Turn the heat up to medium-low to warm things up and allow the flavors to mingle for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and remove and discard bay leaves.
Serve in heaping bowls, sprinkling with shaved parmesan and the toasted panko crunch.
Timing: This dish can absolutely be made in 30-40 minutes once you've made it a few times and get used to the steps. To do so you will have to multi-task, cooking multiple components at the same time. Allow yourself some extra time if you aren't used to this sort of cooking.
Preserved Lemon: If you can’t find preserved lemon, feel free to substitute one tablespoon lemon juice and/or lemon zest and mix into the toasted panko to get a similar flavor. It won’t be exactly the same, but it will add a similar brightness to the dish.
White Wine Options: Whenever a recipe calls for unspecified white wine, I always go for a variety I enjoy drinking on its own. For my part, I used a semi-dry Riesling (Hacienda Riesling 2014 to be exact), and the sauce was fantastic. I’d personally lean towards something semi-sweet or semi-dry, but feel free to experiment with your favorite variety.
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