Cooking | Magazine

Recipes: Mushrooms star in 2 noodle dishes and a hearty vegetarian sandwich

Rich, meaty, and delicious, portobellos and shiitakes add depth and flavor to any dish.

Tagliatelle With Portobellos and Chive Ricotta.
Connie Miller of CB Creatives
Tagliatelle with portobellos and chive ricotta.

These recipes are part of a new partnership between Christopher Kimball and the cooks at Milk Street and the Globe Magazine’s Cooking column.

At Milk Street, we love the savory depth mushrooms can add to a dish. Portobellos show up in a white wine-miso sauce for tagliatelle pasta. We balance all that richness with a dollop of whole-milk ricotta mixed with chopped fresh chives. In our Mexican torta, we cook thick slices of portobellos with thin slices of poblano chilies, a combination that is meaty and delicious, particularly when paired with avocado and pepper jack cheese. For our Chinese black bean noodles with pork, we switch to fresh shiitake mushrooms, which are cooked with ground pork, scallions, garlic, red pepper, and a bold black bean-garlic sauce. Tossed with udon noodles and lightened by fresh cucumber, the result is richly satisfying.


Makes 4 servings

Tagliatelle is an egg noodle similar in shape to fettuccine, but with a finer texture and richer flavor. We used dried tagliatelle, which is sold bundled in nests. Refer to the package directions for cooking times.

Don’t forget to scrape off the gills from the undersides of the mushroom caps. If left, the gills give the sauce a murky appearance.


1         cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

¼      cup finely chopped fresh chives

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

8        ounces dried tagliatelle

4        tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, divided


2        pounds portobello mushroom caps, gills removed, quartered and sliced ¼-inch thick

2        medium shallots, halved and thinly sliced

1         cup dry white wine

3        tablespoons red miso

½      cup fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped


Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve

In a small bowl, whisk together the ricotta, chives, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Set aside. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the pasta and 2 tablespoons salt and cook until al dente. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water and toss to coat.

Meanwhile, in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter until foaming. Add the mushrooms, shallots, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and are well browned, about 10 minutes. Pour in the wine, scrape up any browned bits, and simmer until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Pour in the remaining 1½ cups reserved cooking water, bring to a simmer, and cook over medium-high until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in the miso and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Add the tarragon to the pasta and toss, then transfer to a serving bowl. Spoon the mushroom mixture over the pasta. Serve dolloped with the ricotta mixture and drizzled with olive oil.


Makes 6 servings

We make a hearty vegetarian sandwich filled with sautéed mushrooms and chilies, refried beans, mashed avocado, and cheese. You also could add lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and cilantro. A flattish roll called a telera is used for making tortas, but you can use any type of round roll with a soft interior and a thin, lightly crisp crust. Don’t use soft, fluffy rolls, such as hamburger buns. They won’t hold up under the weight of the fillings.

7        tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

8        ounces portobello mushrooms, stemmed, gills removed, caps sliced ¼-inch thick

2        poblano chilies, stemmed, seeded, quartered, and thinly sliced

1         medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

15½-ounce can pinto beans, drained, ¼ cup liquid reserved

2        teaspoons ground coriander

¼      cup drained sliced pickled jalapeños, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon pickling liquid

2        ripe avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled

2        tablespoons lime juice

6        kaiser rolls

6        deli slices or 4 ounces shredded pepper jack cheese

Heat the oven to 450 degrees with a rack in the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil. In a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium, heat 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil until shimmering. Add the mushrooms, chilies, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are light golden brown and softened, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and tent with foil to keep warm.

Return the skillet to medium-high, add 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil, and heat until shimmering. Add the beans and coriander and cook, mashing, until the mixture forms a coarse, dry puree and begins to brown at the edges, about 3 minutes. Stir in the bean liquid and cook, stirring constantly, until the beans are once again dry, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper, the pickled jalapeños, and the pickling liquid. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mash the avocados with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and the lime juice. Set aside. Place the top and bottom halves of the rolls, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Bake until crisp and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the tops to a large plate and turn the bottom halves cut side up. Leave the oven on.

Divide the bean mixture evenly among the bottom halves of the rolls. Top with the mushroom mixture, followed by the pepper jack cheese. Bake until the cheese begins to melt, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Spread the avocado mixture on the cut sides of the top halves of the rolls, then place on top of the tortas.

 Mushroom, Poblano Chili,  and Refried Bean Tortas.
Connie Miller of CB Creatives
Mushroom, poblano chili, and refried bean tortas.

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Makes 4 servings

This riff on Chinese zha jiang mian — noodles with pork and fermented bean sauce — substitutes prepared black bean-garlic sauce for the traditional and harder-to-find fermented yellow or brown bean paste. On its own, the sauce tastes intense, but its boldness is balanced by the neutral flavor of the noodles and the freshness of the cucumber. You can find it in the Asian aisle of most larger grocery stores. Make sure to thoroughly drain the noodles before portioning them; excess water clinging to them will dilute the sauce.

Don’t salt the water when cooking the noodles; the sauce provides plenty of salt for the dish. And don’t forget to reserve 1 cup of the cooking water before draining the noodles.

12      ounces dried wide, thick wheat noodles (such as udon)

2        tablespoons grape-seed or other neutral oil

8        ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and finely chopped

12      ounces ground pork

4        scallions, white and light green parts minced, dark green tops thinly sliced

4        medium garlic cloves, minced

½      teaspoon red pepper flakes

½      cup dry sherry

3        tablespoons black bean-garlic sauce

1         tablespoon hoisin sauce

1         tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

2        tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar, divided

½      English cucumber, thinly sliced on the diagonal, then cut into matchsticks

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the noodles and rinse under cool water until cold. Drain well, then set aside in the colander.

In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and sauté until softened and the bits clinging to the bottom of the pan begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the pork and cook until crispy and caramelized, about 6 minutes.

Stir in the minced scallions, garlic, and pepper flakes, then cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sherry and cook, scraping the pan, until evaporated. Stir in the reserved cooking water, black bean sauce, hoisin, and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large bits of pork, until the sauce has the consistency of thin gravy, 4 to 5 minutes. Off heat, stir in 2 tablespoons of the vinegar.

While the sauce simmers, season the cucumbers with the remaining 1 teaspoon vinegar. Divide the noodles among serving bowls, then spoon the sauce over them. Top with sliced scallion greens and cucumber.

Christopher Kimball is the founder of Milk Street, home to a magazine, school, and radio and television shows. Send comments to Christopher Kimball is the founder of Milk Street, home to a magazine, school, and radio and television shows. Globe readers get 12 weeks of complete digital access, plus two issues of Milk Street print magazine, for just $1. Go to Send comments to