I love impressing my friends and family with a dish that looks and tastes like it came from a gourmet Italian restaurant. Fettuccine with Tomato-Cream Sauce and Mushrooms is just such a dish, fancy enough for a special occasion but made with many ingredients you may already have on hand. Savory tomato sauce is combined with a cream sauce for a touch of richness, while ham and mushrooms round out the flavor profile.
Full Disclosure: The first 7 ingredients/2 instructions involve making tomato sauce. In a bind, such as on a weeknight, you may substitute a jar of purchased tomato sauce. It’s much tastier to make your own, but I understand. Sometimes you already used up your miracle for the day.
Be sure to use at least four quarts of water in a large stock pot. If you don’t have enough water, or if your pot is too small, your noodles might stick together and not cook properly. A watched pot never boils, so cover the stock pot and your water will boil faster. But only by a couple of minutes, so don’t get too excited or self-righteous and force others to do it too. It helps, but it’s not exactly life-changing stuff.
Since this recipe requires a couple of rounds of, “Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer” you’ll have some down-time. Use it to chop some vegetables for a fresh salad or broil some garlic bread. Both are great accompaniments for your Italian feast.
Last, although this recipe uses cream, several members of my family described the sauce as “light” with “balanced flavors” that were “not too strong, but not too bland.” I know, do I live with a bunch of test kitchen panel members or what?! But anyway. There is a lot more tomato sauce than cream. And although my mom and sisters “never” buy heavy cream themselves, they sure seemed to enjoy it here!!!!
- 1 T. olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ c. chopped onion
- 2 (28 oz.) cans whole tomatoes, drained
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 T. butter
- 1 c. sliced mushrooms
- ½ c. chopped ham
- 2 T. sliced scallions
- 1 c. heavy whipping cream
- ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 lb. fettuccine
- In a 2-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add garlic and onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, process tomatoes in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, ½ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper to saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While tomato sauce is simmering, melt butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until the foaming subsides. Add mushrooms, ham, and scallions and cook about 5 minutes, until mushrooms and scallions have softened.
- Stir in cream, nutmeg, and ¼ tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in tomato sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, during the last 15 minutes of simmer time, bring 4 quarts of water and 1 T. salt to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook until tender, 12 – 14 minutes. Drain well and return to pot.
- Pour in sauce. Toss until evenly coated and serve.