Mushroom and Walnut Pasta

Mushroom and Walnut Pasta

Mushroom and Walnut Pasta, with cream and garlic

Plus autopics (as in the banner that was used for Hallowe’en, 2013 directly below this paragraph). Couldn’t help myself but go with the flow and dress up for Hallowe’en. So I ended up plastered in as much make-up as Joan Collins. Okay, it’s not such a good likeness of me – but the nose! Uncanny. Anyway, has anyone else found themselves surrounded by pumpkins and squash recently! Just as well I happen to like their flavour as I’ll be eating a lot of risottos for the next week, and anything else I can chuck pumpkin/squash into. I wonder if I’ll find a recipe, or two, online?! In the meantime, I have Chef Mimi Blog to thank – for ever and anon – for the inspiration behind this incredibly delicious and simple mushroom and walnut pasta dish. That’s fast becoming my go-to. Fourth time to make it. And with large portions x two each time, I can’t quite get enough of it. And, what’s even more wonderful, this tastes better the following day. To the extent I’d be tempted to cook this the night before if serving this to friends the next day – no chance! This is too good to share! But it would make the most wonderful main course (or starter), with something chocolatey as dessert. Something like a baked cheesecake, if I could ever get the base for mine sorted. As this is simply elegant and rich without even trying. And the one thing I don’t try to do is to add anything else to this. Like fresh thyme, freshly grated nutmeg nor freshly grated Grana Padano, a block of the latter safely ensconced in the fridge – where it needs to be kept with a dish this good. Only in my opinion.

La Befana Trick or Treat

I also have to thank the wonderful Angie, of The Novice Gardener, for what turned out to be an incredibly extravagant gift, as I ended up the first to follow Angie on Pinterest recently. Which wasn’t the reason for doing so, as in following, as I’ve never entered into any of the giveaways within blogs. However, what fun to receive two very tasteful Trick or Treat t-towels in time for Hallowe’en. Hence the photo directly above (the original banner for this post), with the other t-towel featured within the existing banner/lead-in photo (it’s just about possible to read Trick or Treat).

Mushroom and Walnut Pasta, with cream and garlic


  • 50g (1.764 oz) x walnut pieces, roasted and coarsely chopped
  • oil, of choice
  • up to 350g (12.35 oz) x closed cup (white) mushrooms OR 250g (8.818 oz) x chestnut (Swiss brown) mushrooms, whichever mushrooms used need to be wiped clean and chopped into small pieces/chunks, including the stems
  • 2 x fat organic garlic cloves, peeled and crushed, less to personal taste
  • 1/4 x teaspoon red pepper flakes – optional
  • about 150ml (5.072 fl oz) x single/light cream + more if needed
  • several tablespoons x pasta cooking liquor (do this before the pasta is to be drained)
  • cooked pasta, of choice
  • seasoning, especially freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling over the pasta

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.


  • If I’m going to bake bread then I add the walnut pieces to a suitable dish, place them in the cold oven prior to preheating it to about 180°C or 356°F. By the time the oven has preheated the walnuts are removed and set aside. If this isn’t enough time to roast them (their aroma should be fairly pronounced) then do add them to a heavy-based pan or saucepan and put them on low heat only. They usually take around 10 minutes or so (on the hob/stove), shaking the pan occasionally. When cool simply grab a potato masher and crush the walnuts as fine or as coarse as needed.
  • In the meantime put a large heavy-based pan or saucepan on electric heat No 4 (out of 6). When pan is hot, and mushrooms have been prepped, add enough oil to cover the base of pan. Before the oil has a chance of smoking get the chopped mushrooms in there and stir through. It’ll take a while, especially on electric, to get the mushrooms beyond leaching their liquid. After this happens it’s best to stay with them and stir frequently to get them as evenly golden as possible. When nicely golden take them off heat and crush over the garlic, spreading the mushrooms to the sides of pan and adding a glug more oil if necessary. Give the garlic a few minutes to cook out its rawness. Stir through if there’s any sign of the garlic scorching. Sprinkle over the red pepper flakes.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta to the pack’s instructions.
  • Pour the cream over the mushroom mixture and stir to combine. If the pasta is nearly ready then add the crushed walnuts to the mushrooms. Grab a dessertspoon and add a couple of spoonfuls of the pasta cooking liquor to the mushrooms as well. Add more cream if necessary. After draining the pasta add that to the mushroom mixture and stir through before serving. Instead of using cheese I prefer to drizzle over about a capful of extra virgin olive oil just before eating.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Kitschnflavours:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny Hepburn

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50 responses to “Mushroom and Walnut Pasta

  1. The banner turns out really well, Johnny, appropriately creepy for the occasion. Would have never thought of using the towels the way you did. Yes, I recognize the spider in the background! :-) And I can clearly make out the other towel behind the pumpkins, but I have to look closely to find you. I see the nose and the chin, though. Perfectly Joan Collins’, lol…. You are so much fun! The pasta looks absolutely mouth-watering! Now I have 2 recipes from you that I must try immediately, this one and the persimmon/Brussels sprouts salad. :-)

    • It would be even more fun if I answered the door to the Trick or Treaters’ tomorrow night dressed like that! Oh, and it’s not supposed to look like Joan Collins. Ouch, I’ll get sued! Joking aside, those were the only photos, so far, that grabbed my attention. Just had to go with. Thanks again for the t-towels!

      Out of the two recipes you’ve mentioned I’d go for this one. It really is simply divine. With so few ingredients as well! As long as I remember to replace the nearly finished bag of walnuts then this will be made every week. And can’t quite believe it’s even better the next day.

  2. Looks delicious, I remember that post from Mimi’s blog, and it stuck with me also. The gnocchi with that creamy sauce is dreamy, must say though I love how your pasta dish looks, I now can’t stop thinking about your pasta dish. Yum!

    • It’s very seldom I try a recipe so soon after reading a post. This was made for the first time within days. And I’ve been making it every week since. So good. And I love the fact it’s easy to make as well. For that little effort this is surprisingly elegant. Of course, it helps that I especially adore mushrooms at this time of year.

  3. ciao! delicious flavours. wicked photos…banner and the pasta ai funghi. this is a ‘trick r treat’ post.

    • Couldn’t help myself. The blogosphere’s positively brimming, nay bubbling over, like cauldrons everywhere, with amazing Hallowe’en edibles. Hmm, and I change my banner! Thought it was fun, though. Was hoping to go the more trad UK route and carve swede/rutabagas into lanterns – not even!

  4. - What a clever sauce, for pasta or over meat. Your pasta looks amazingly delicious.
    - I noticed your Halloween banner and touch of placing pumpkins in the background of the pasta.
    - Happy Halloween Johnny!

    • Oh, which meat would you serve this with? Hadn’t even thought of it as it is quite meaty in itself. It would go well with a warm chicken salad, now that I think of it.

      Yes, what fun to be had in Maison Johnny! Had hoped to go the more trad route and carve swede/rutabagas, like they used to do here in the UK. Not even. Was too busy hoarding in an insignificant selection of pumpkins/squash. They’re surprisingly difficult to get hold off here (apart from butternut).

      And a very happy and safe Hallowe’en to you, Fae!

  5. Mushrooms and walnuts – love the combination, and it spells autumn to me!

    • Very much so! Shame my flat smells as musty, what with so much cooking going on. That’s one of the things about colder weather that gets to me. Far prefer cooking with windows open so my flat doesn’t smell like a greasy spoon!

  6. Brilliant. I can’t get enough of walnuts at the moment. I definitely agree that it doesn’t sound like you need added grana padano, too much with the cream!

    • Aren’t they just great to use at this time of year. Must start baking some fruit cakes and stuff. Especially as most of them age well.

      Yes, as I prefer creamy pasta dishes (at this time of year) I can’t really deal with cream, cheese and butter loaded on the same plate. Well, chances are I would eat it! Regardless of how cloying it would be.

  7. It’s after 10pm here and I after looking at your photo of this gorgeous pasta dish, I could sit down to a 2nd dinner right now! Look forward to trying this one out Johnny. Happy Halloween!

    • This is so good. Although, heading into Spring as you are it may seem a tad heavy. Still, anything to do with garlic mushrooms when it’s chillier and damp of an evening has to be a good thing. And believe me, it’s chilly and damp here right now. Enjoy any summer breeze for me that might be blowing your way :)

  8. This looks incredible! I’m drooling over your pictures!! This is going straight to the top of my must-try list.

  9. PS: I see that you went to Camberwell College – my brother went there (he did 3D design) and I lived in Camberwell for 2 years. South London high five! (er)

    • Three years of that college was quite enough. Took nearly another three before I would go back! Well, I did go back the following year to see the grad show. Camberwell has its plus side – doesn’t it?!

      • Camberwell is definitely an interesting place. As for plus sides, there is a very big one, in the form of FM Mangal! That is the only thing we ever go back there for now!

        • That restaurant wasn’t there when I was going through Camberwell. Which seems an odd way of putting it, as in going through. Huh, that’s how it felt like at the time. That place must be fairly close to Johnnies café, if it’s still going. I used to love their Viennese burgers. In fact, so much so I tried to replicate them for this blog. Hmm, bit sad, I know :)

  10. What is pasta cooking liquor? This recipe looks delicious, thanks for sharing!

    • Cooking liquor is just a generic culinary term used here to denote the water something is cooked in. I keep forgetting that liquor means booze in the States!

      This recipe is way better than it looks. I still haven’t adjusted to British Winter Time so the natural light was awful. Sighs!

  11. As a super fan of mushrooms this pasta dish is calling my name! Yum!

    • That’s exactly what happened when I read Chef Mimi’s post! This is surprisingly delicious. Thanks for your comment, btw. I recognise your handle, possibly through apuginthekitchen, so must pop back into your blog.

  12. Gorgeous dish! Too bad I can’t eat walnut :(.
    Is there any substituion for walnut that you would recommend?

    • Apart from hazelnuts, which are one of my favourites, I can’t really proffer a sub as such. Especially as I haven’t made this with anything else. As long as you like the nut/ingredient with pan-fried mushrooms then it should taste great :)

  13. Your pasta looks wonderful Johnny. Weird, its so my type of pasta though I hadn’t thought of mushrooms + walnuts. I”m glad you got into the Halloween swing because that header you’ve put up is brilliant :) Cheers!

    • Neither had I! It wasn’t until I read Chef Mimi’s post that the combination even occurred to me. Can’t take any credit for this absolute gem.

      Thanks re header. So glad you saw it as I nearly changed it back to what it should be yesterday morning. Just had to go with a bit of fun. And have just remembered that I was supposed to upload a photo of pumpkins, relevant to my risotto cakes. Oh, well :)

  14. This recipe looks yummy :)

  15. What a stunning pasta recipe – it looks and sounds delicious and with walnuts being so good right now i will have to give this a go. What a lovely blog you have here!

  16. Can I just say… OH MY GOSH. I am a bit of a Baggins when it comes to mushrooms and this pasta looks like absolute heaven in a bowl. Love that glossy sheen on the mushroom sauce. Definitely making this quick smart! How are you j? It’s been ages.

    • Hmm, have just Googled Baggins and I’m still mystified. I don’t know the book. Anyway, this is too good. If you like mushrooms and walnuts as much as I do. Have to admit, I was tempted initially to add other ingredients. Not any more!

  17. Just put this up on my chalkboard menu. This is right up my alley.

    • It’s so good. Indebted to Chef Mimi for posting this. Which reminds me, must buy in more walnuts. I’ve gone through two packs already. It’s not only incredibly simple to make it’s perfect for Autumn. Hope you like, if you make it!

  18. I have been on such a walnut kick! This looks fantastic!!

  19. Seriously drooling… mmm… looks fantastic, adding to my list!

  20. Ha, pasta usually wins because it’s quicker :)

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