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.
Sometimes I buy them pre-sliced – it saves time – but there is something so cathartic about slicing them myself.
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.
Creamy Southern Pea and Mushroom Linguine
- 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
- 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.
- Meanwhile, prepare your ingredients. Once peas are draining, heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat until sizzling.
- Add shallot and garlic, and cook until shallot is softened and slightly translucent.
- 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.
- Once mushrooms are cooked to your liking, add the sherry to deglaze the pan. Simmer until the alcohol cooks off, about 1-2 minutes.
- Gently add peas and cream to the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
- Before serving, stir in the parmesan until melted and incorporated. Serve over linguine with a pinch of freshly chopped parsley.
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!