Spicy creamy mushroom pasta is what we make when we are craving a little bit of heat. Spicy Calabrian chili paste, tomato paste, and cream are tossed with sauteed mushrooms, pasta, fresh basil, and Pecorino Romano cheese and can be ready in about 30 minutes.
We also love combining it with tomatoes and using it in pasta dishes. That’s how this spicy creamy mushroom pasta with Calabrian chili paste came to be.
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and slice 5 cloves of garlic and 1 pound of cremini or white button mushrooms.
- In a large pan saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until brown. Season with salt to taste, then move the mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
- Turn the pan heat down to medium-low and add 2 tablespoons of olive and the sliced garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes until the garlic is golden.
- Add 2 teaspoons of Calabrian chili paste and 3 ounces of tomato paste.
- Cook the pastes in the oil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add 1 pound of fettuccine to the boiling water and cook to 1 minute less than al dente. Add 3/4 cup of dry white wine to the paste mixture and turn the heat to medium-high to cook off the alcohol and reduce for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and add 1 cup of pasta water and 1 cup of heavy cream. Stir it all together and bring it to a low simmer. Taste test and season with salt to taste.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan and give them a stir, then add the pasta.
- Cook the pasta until it reaches al dente (1-2 minutes), stirring frequently to coat, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Add 1 cup of grated Pecorino Romano and mix well. If the sauce is at all dry, add a touch of pasta water a few ounces at a time to loosen it up. Hand-tear a 1/4 cup of packed fresh basil and add half to the pan. Serve on plates with the remaining basil and more grated cheese. Enjoy!
Top tips for spicy creamy pasta with mushrooms
- Calabrian chili paste. If you enjoy heat, you’re likely already familiar with Calabrian chili paste. It’s smoky and spicy and one of our favorite condiments. If you can’t find Calabrian chili paste, you can substitute with hot red pepper flakes.
- Mushrooms. We used cremini mushrooms for this recipe but you can really use any mushrooms you’d like. White button mushrooms are probably the most widely available in the US and would be fine to use here.
- Wine. We used a dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc) for this recipe. If you can’t have alcohol feel free to omit it entirely.
- Cooking the pasta. As with most of our pasta dishes, we advise that you cook the pasta to 1 minute less than al dente. The reason for this is that you want the pasta to finish cooking in the pan with the sauce so the sauce clings and becomes one with the pasta. You are essentially marrying the pasta and sauce together.
- Save your pasta water! Pasta water is an essential ingredient in many pasta dishes but is even more important for cream sauces as they tend to dry out quickly. If your pasta becomes dry, simply add a little pasta water at a time until it is glossy and perfect again!
More spicy pasta recipes you’ll love
- Roasted zucchini pasta – cubed mozzarella, zucchini slices, and ziti are tossed in a spicy marinara.
- Assassin’s pasta – spaghetti is fried in a spicy tomato and garlic broth.
- Spicy pepper bucatini – cubanelle and long hot peppers with tomatoes, bell peppers, and Pecorino Romano.
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Spicy Creamy Mushroom Pasta
- 1 pound fettuccine
- 1/4 cup olive oil divided
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms sliced
- 5 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 teaspoons Calabrian chili paste or to taste
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Pecorino Romano grated
- 1/4 cup packed fresh basil hand torn
- 2 cups reserved pasta water will most likely not need all of it
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- In a very large pan saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until brown. Season with salt then remove the mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
- Turn the heat to medium-low, and add the remaining olive oil and garlic to the pan. Saute until golden (about 2 minutes). Next, add the chili paste and tomato paste. Cook for 5 minutes in the oil stirring frequently.
- Begin cooking the pasta in the boiling water to 1 minute less than al dente.
- Add the wine to the pan and turn the heat to medium-high to cook off the alcohol and reduce for 3 minutes.
- Turn heat down to medium-low and add in 1 cup of pasta water and the cream. Stir it all together and bring it to a low simmer. Taste test and season with salt to taste.
- Add in the mushrooms and the pasta. Cook until the pasta reaches al dente (about 1-2 minutes).
- Turn off the heat and add in the Pecorino Romano and mix well. If the sauce is too dry add a bit of pasta water (a couple ounces at a time) to loosen it up.
- Add in half of the basil leaves. Serve on plates with the remaining basil on top and more grated cheese on the side.
- Calabrian chili paste is spicy. Adjust to personal taste preferences.
- Always save your pasta water! Use the reserved pasta water to thin out the pasta if it is too thick or dries out. Just add a couple of ounces at a time to get a perfectly creamy consistency.
- Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days in the fridge.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.