Creamy Skillet Penne with Mushrooms & Asparagus

Success! This recipe was soooo good! As usual, it came from The Best 30-Minute Recipe cookbook. Obviously, if you don't like mushrooms, you won't like this dish, but if you do.... OMG, it's so good! Mom, you'll like this one. You should try it. Due to the fact that I'm married to a carnivore, I may add some Trader Joe's roasted garlic chicken sausage next time, but it definitely doesn't need it. My man just appreciates his meat. Without further ado:

Creamy Skillet Penne with Mushrooms & Asparagus
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
10 oz sliced white mushrooms
Salt & ground black pepper
1 shallot, minced
*1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed & minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz penne (2 1/2 cups)
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed & cut into 1" lengths
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the mushrooms right away. Prepare & measure the remaining ingredients while the mushrooms cook.

1. SAUTE MUSHROOMS: Heat oil in 12" nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add white mushrooms & 1/2 teaspoon salt & cook until mushrooms are browned, about 8 minutes.

2. SAUTE AROMATICS: Stir in shallot, porcini, thyme & cook until shallot has softened, about 1 minute. Stir in garlic & cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine & simmer until almost dry, about 1 minute.

3. SIMMER PENNE: Stir in water, cream, & penne. Increase heat to high & cook, stirring often, until penne is almost tender & liquid has thickened, 12-15 minutes. Add asparagus & cook until tender, about 3 minutes more.

4. ADD CHEESE: Off heat, stir in Parmesan & season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve.

*REHYDRATING PORCINI MUSHROOMS: Rinse the mushrooms of any grit & place in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over them to cover & let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Use a fork to lift the mushrooms from the liquid, leaving any additional grit behind. The mushrooms are ready to be minced & used as directed.

KIM'S NOTES: #1 - I never use real wine, I use Publix brand cooking wine. #2 - I didn't know the dried porcini mushrooms had to soak for 5 minutes before you could mince them, so make sure & do that step first.

Bon appetit!

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