Originally posted May-20Rigatoni with Spicy Mushroom Cream Sauce

My friends came to the rescue last night, putting an end to my all-meat, all-grease, all-beer all-world diet. An odd dish, they told me, that they picked up on their Buenos Aires excursion: rigatoni with a spicy mushroom cream sauce topped with ricotta, black olives and mint. Cooling the beers for the next game, I decided to get a bottle of wine.


Overwhelmed at the SAQ, I grabbed a bottle of Mateus RosĂ©, the first bottle I recognized. The confusion that set in at the liquor store is indicative of the problem I’ve faced the past two weeks home alone. I’ve figured out it’s not cooking that’s my problem, it’s grocery shopping. Last week I stepped into one shop, spotted a major queue and turned on my heel. I walked down the street to another grocer, which was less crowded. I picked up Parmesan cheese, put it back, groped the produce, got fed up and left for home and another cheeseburger. After confessing this to Hanne over IM the next day, she sent me this link (via Baking Bites) about guys being useless in grocery stores. Bad move Hanne. I’ve filed the fact away under excuses and will use it against you.


Luckily, the wine I nabbed worked out last night. Great food and conversation and as a bonus our friends were good enough to leave me the leftover ingredients, which are being used again tonight for Hanne’s welcome home supper.


The apartment is vacuumed and arranged. The pizza and burger boxes hit the curb yesterday for recycling. The hockey game is over and I’ve cleaned up the empties and I’m wearing pants. If it wasn’t for this blog, Hanne would be none the wiser. There are no physical signs of my week of sloth or the congealed mess of burger grease in my gut. The guise is on and the food is ready to go and Hanne is in the cab heading home from the airport.


So quickly, here’s the recipe. I left out the olives because… uh… that was the only ingredient not left over from last night and I, well, couldn’t be bothered. The food looks and tastes great anyway.


If you’re a quick knife, you can prep. and cook the sauce in the time your water boils and pasta cooks. If you run behind, keep an eye on the pasta! Better to have it a bit cool than mush.


Ingredients to serve 2:

  • 250-300g of Rigatoni
  • 2-3TB butter
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2-3 finger chilies (minced)
  • 150g mushrooms (quartered)
  • 150mL table cream
  • Salt/Pepper (to taste)
  • Garnish with ricotta and loosely chopped/ripped mint


1- Grab a large sauce pan. Don’t use a small sauce-pot, sauce-pot. You want surface area so that the cream thickens nice and quick.

2- Medium-low heat and throw 3 TB or at least enough butter in the pan to cover it evenly. As it melts, chop garlic and chillies. Also, quarter your mushrooms. Quick! You want your butter melted and golden in colour, not burnt.

3- When butter is golden and just starting to froth, hit it with the garlic and chillies. Once the garlic gets starts to turn (a minute or so) toss in the mushrooms, making sure to get them nicely coated.

4- Be careful here, as you don’t want your garlic to burn. Leave it be for about a minute or two, depending on how hot your pan is cooking.

5- Once your garlic is right, pour in the cream add a bit of salt and pepper and let it come to a light simmer–you may need to drop the heat a bit. Cook down the cream to viscous, saucy slop. You don’t have to dote on it, but periodically move the cream so that it doesn’t stick too much as it cooks. Scrape up the parts that inevitably do stick, making sure it’s in the sauce and not plastered to your pot. Not only will clean-up be easier, but the browned-off parts add flavour. Taste the sauce and correct with salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.

6- Your pasta should be el dente. If you’re waiting on the pasta, make sure to remove the sauce from the heat before the mushrooms loose all their moisture. You want their meat to retain spring, so that they pop a little between your teeth.

7- Serve up two generous portions of pasta, covered in the mushroom sauce. Again, get that pan clean by getting all the good browned bits onto your plates.

8- Generously garnish with ricotta and mint and you’re good to go.

Update 6/22: Last night we asked our friends for more information on the restaurant from which this recipe originated. It’s a Buenos Aires restaurant called Tipo Casa. Coincidentally the restaurant, like this blog, combines food and music. Tipo Casa offers music pairings for each dish, complete with music menus. Strangely enough, music pairing is something we’ve considered for supperinstereo. We’re still trying to figure out exactly how to integrate music into a food blog, hoping that something crops up naturally. Maybe this recipe being our blog’s first is a sign.