Whenever I make basic pasta sauces, I always prepare in bulk and store away in the freezer for lazy weekday nights. So there was one remaining jar of white sauce languishing away in the freezer and decided to come up with this dish. I had also bought a packet of smoked paprika and was dying to use it in some form or the other.
Didn’t really have a culinary plan when I started out making this dish but somewhere along the way, the dish evolved. The spicy sweetness of the paprika mushrooms went quite well with the cheesiness of the white sauce. A very comforting meal!
- Pasta (any type can be used); 400 gms
- White button mushrooms – 2 cups, cubed
- Smoked Paprika – ¾ tsp
- Olive oil
- White sauce:
- Maida/flour – 1 tbsp
- Butter – 1 tbsp
- Milk – 1-2 cups
- Red onion – ½, finely chopped
- Green bell pepper – ½, finely chopped
- Oregano – to season
- Salt – to season
- Black pepper powder – to season
- Parmesan cheese – 1 cup
- Parmesan cheese – grated, to serve
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, drain (reserve 1 cup water) and keep aside.
To make the mushrooms:
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add the mushrooms. Sauté on high heat for about 30 seconds.
- Next season with paprika and salt and toss well.
- Sauté for another 30 seconds and keep aside.
To make the white sauce:
- In a large pot, add butter and the chopped onions and bell peppers. Sauté till the onions are softened.
- Then add flour and mix well, cook for a minute or two to remove the raw taste.
- Add 1 cup milk, little by little, and stir on low flame. Continue to stir on low flame till a creamy consistency is attained.
- Add the cheese and season with salt, pepper and oregano. Mix well to combine. If the sauce feels too thick, add more milk. Remove from heat and keep aside.
To finish, add the mushrooms and pasta to the white sauce and mix well to combine. To loosen up (if necessary); add a little bit of the reserved pasta water.
Serve warm with grated parmesan. Enjoy with a glass of chilled white.