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May 2013 Issue
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Creamy mushroom pasta

Photo: Mark Banham

When I was a kid, I couldn’t for the life of me understand what would possess anyone to eat a mushroom. I think I was being pretty rational – why on earth would I believe that a fungal reproductive organ would taste good!

But the rational response sometimes isn’t the correct one, and over the years I’ve come to develop a taste for mushies. To the point where dishes like this one are a speedy dinner of choice around the house. But it also works brilliantly as tramping food – even for longer trips if you use dried mushrooms.


Serves: Two

Weight: 800g

Volume: 1l

Kilojoules: 7700

Cost: $10.50

Time: 20 minutes

Fuel: 125ml of white spirit or 50g of gas.*


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

400g Portobello mushrooms – diced

One onion – finely chopped

One cup UHT cream

One cup grated parmesan cheese

250g pasta

Salt, pepper

Parsley if available


Ideally you’ll need two pots for this one, or some way to keep the pasta warm while you’re cooking the sauce.


Cook the pasta as per directions and set aside, covered to keep warm. Next, bring the oil up to temperature then add the mushrooms and onions. Sauté to taste, then turn the heat down to low and add the mustard. Once the temperature has cooled a little add the cream and parmesan cheese and simmer briefly to evaporate any unnecessary liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste (don’t be stingy with the pepper) then pour over the pasta and serve. If you’ve taken a nice bottle of oaked chardonnay into the hills with you, now’s the time to break it out!