A few simple ingredients make this easy Mushroom Pasta recipe shine. It’s one of my favorites and I know you’ll love it too.
This Mushroom Pasta recipe is a riff on one of my favorites that I developed for Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook. The dish was based off one I had in Athens, using pasta and mushrooms from Crete where my family roots are from. It’s an umami bomb that combines meaty wild mushrooms with cheese and a little cream/Greek yogurt. In this recipe, I’m also suggesting adding saffron, which plays off the richness with more nuance and depth of flavor. It’s optional, but I highly recommend it. Cooking it all in one pot makes the process seamless and clean up is easy when you’re done.
Which mushrooms should I use?
You can use any type of mushroom you like in this dish. Normally, I use cremini mushrooms, or a mix of mushrooms from whatever looks good at our market. Mushrooms shine here, so use your favorites, and experiment with types that might be new to you.
A little bit about saffron
Saffron is a spice — actually the stigmas of the crocus flower — grown predominantly in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Additionally, it’s the most precious (and expensive) spice in the world. This is because farmers have to harvest it by hand. Greece is actually the 3rd largest saffron producer in the world. Their saffron is extremely high quality. Farmers in the Kozani region outside Thessaloniki farm the country’s share. You can now find it in Greek speciality stores in the diaspora and it’s prevalent in markets across Greece. If you buy saffron, don’t ration it. If you keep it opened for more than a year, it will lose its potency.
Cream or yogurt?
I used to add a little cream at the end of the recipe, but as I kept making this dish I swapped that out for plain Greek yogurt (2% or 5%). You get the same amount of creaminess, and an added acidity that balances everything out perfectly.