Creamy Southern Pea and Mushroom Linguine

I am a firm believer that most taste preference hinges on preparation. Sure, there are some things that I really will never like (beets – I am talking to you. I hate you.) But there are others that I thought I didn’t like until I prepared them the right way. This creamed pea linguine has one of those things – mushrooms.

When I decided to become a vegetarian, I had to learn how to substitute vegetables and legumes for main proteins. I never cooked with portobello mushrooms until that point, and they are one of my favorite ingredients now.

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Sometimes I buy them pre-sliced – it saves time – but there is something so cathartic about slicing them myself.

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They also turn out quite pretty without the shelf-life browning. The mushroom preparation in this resembles a preparation for a mushroom stroganoff or a mushroom marsala. To give the sauce even more flavor, I used some dry sherry – something I always have as a Pantry Essential for the Pioneer Woman’s Sherried Tomato Soup or whatever strikes my fancy.

The other star of this dish is the zipper cream pea. They look a little like black-eyed peas and taste like green peas, with a little more density and substance. When I saw the peas in my farm bag, I couldn’t stop thinking about creamed peas. That dish, I thought, can’t really be a vegetarian main, and I had no inspiration for another main, so I decided to combine my creamed pea craving with my sauteed mushroom craving.

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Of course, it also has thyme. Because I obsess over thyme.

Creamy Southern Pea and Mushroom Linguine

serves 4

ingredients

  • 1 TB minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot
  • 8 oz sliced portobello (cremini) mushrooms [Publix calls them baby bella]
  • 1 TB chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 TB unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup sherry or other cooking wine (I use Taylor Dry Sherry)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 cups zipper cream peas, or substitute green peas. I used 2 cups, because that’s what I had fresh.
  • 2 TB freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 TB chopped fresh parsley

method

  1. If using fresh or dried peas, set a pot of salted water to boil and add peas. Lower the heat and simmer for cooking time that goes with your chosen pea. I cooked the zipper cream peas for 30 minutes. Once peas finish cooking, drain. Cook the pasta according to package directions in the same pot- no need to rinse.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your ingredients. Once peas are draining, heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat until sizzling.
  3. Add shallot and garlic, and cook until shallot is softened and slightly translucent.
  4. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper, and cook until mushrooms are browned. They will begin to release their juices. I cooked them a few minutes past that point.
  5. Once mushrooms are cooked to your liking, add the sherry to deglaze the pan. Simmer until the alcohol cooks off, about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Gently add peas and cream to the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
  7. Before serving, stir in the parmesan until melted and incorporated. Serve over linguine with a pinch of freshly chopped parsley.

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This sauce is decadent, and sticks to the noodles perfectly. This is a hearty vegetarian main that takes the slightly dated creamed pea and makes it new!

 

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