Creamy Mafalda Pasta with Asparagus, Mushrooms, & Crispy Leek

Creamy Mafalda Pasta

with Asparagus, Mushrooms, & Crispy Leek

40 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight’s pasta dish is a lighter, springtime take on classic green bean casserole that swaps in asparagus, along with maitake mushrooms and leek. Frilly mafalda pasta is a perfect match for the equally ruffly maitake mushrooms, while the thin slices of pan-fried leek provide delicate crunch. These satisfying flavors and textures all shine through a light cream sauce.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    670 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Trim off and discard the root end and upper, dark-green leaves of the leek. Halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise; place in a large bowl of cold water and stir vigorously to remove any dirt between the layers. Tear the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Cut off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus; cut into 1-inch pieces, leaving the pointed tips intact. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems.

Make the crispy leek:
2 Make the crispy leek:

Using your hands (or a slotted spoon), remove the rinsed leek from the bowl of cold water and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a large bowl; add the flour. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to thoroughly coat. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Once the oil is hot enough that a pinch of flour sizzles immediately when added to the pan, add the coated leek in a single layer (tapping off any excess flour before adding). Cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Immediately season with salt and pepper. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the mushrooms:
3 Cook the mushrooms:

In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the mushrooms and cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Season with salt and pepper.

Add the asparagus:
4 Add the asparagus:

Add the asparagus to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Turn off the heat.

Cook the pasta:
5 Cook the pasta:

While the vegetables cook, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked vegetables, butter, sour cream, half the parsley, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished pasta among 4 dishes. Top with the crispy leek, cheese, and remaining parsley. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Trim off and discard the root end and upper, dark-green leaves of the leek. Halve lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise; place in a large bowl of cold water and stir vigorously to remove any dirt between the layers. Tear the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Cut off and discard the tough, woody stem ends of the asparagus; cut into 1-inch pieces, leaving the pointed tips intact. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems.

2 Make the crispy leek:

Using your hands (or a slotted spoon), remove the rinsed leek from the bowl of cold water and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a large bowl; add the flour. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to thoroughly coat. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Once the oil is hot enough that a pinch of flour sizzles immediately when added to the pan, add the coated leek in a single layer (tapping off any excess flour before adding). Cook, stirring frequently, 4 to 6 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Immediately season with salt and pepper. Wipe out the pan.

Make the crispy leek:
Cook the mushrooms:
3 Cook the mushrooms:

In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the mushrooms and cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Season with salt and pepper.

4 Add the asparagus:

Add the asparagus to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Turn off the heat.

Add the asparagus:
5 Cook the pasta:

While the vegetables cook, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked vegetables, butter, sour cream, half the parsley, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 2 to 3 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished pasta among 4 dishes. Top with the crispy leek, cheese, and remaining parsley. Enjoy!

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
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