A Different Kind of Alfredo

An Alfredo that's not exactly what you think it is.
An Alfredo that’s not exactly what you think it is.

Imagine your favorite creamy, cheesy Alfredo — but without any wheat, gluten or even fuss.

And with very few carbs.

In fact, this Alfredo comes together so fast, it’s practically done once you boil a pot of water.

That’s because this is “Enoki Alfredo.”

Yes, this clever one-pot recipe substitutes the usual long strands of pasta for the skinny-stemmed, tiny-capped white mushrooms instead.

It’s from “Cooking with Mushrooms” (Artisan, 2022), of which I received a review copy, the first cookbook by Andrea Gentl, an award-winning food and travel photographer.

The informative book includes a primer on mushroom varieties, including how best to use them, as well as their nutritional properties, along with advice for shopping, storing, cleaning, and prepping them. There’s even a section on how to grow your own mushrooms.

Nearly 100 recipes, for both fresh and dried mushrooms, are included. They are certain to broaden your horizons when it comes to enjoying them, too. Wrap your head around “Mushroom Jerky,” Mushroom Rose Cardamom Rye Granola,” “Crispy Rack of Oyster Mushroom,” “Mezcal Mushroom Margarita,” and “Coconut Dark Chocolate Porcini Pots de Creme.”

Japanese markets are an easy place to pick up enoki mushrooms. Put a pot of salted water on to boil while you trim and separate the strands of mushrooms by hand until they are a loose tangle.

Enoki mushrooms.
Enoki mushrooms.

Blanch the mushrooms for 90 seconds. Reserve a little of the cooking water, and then drain.

Add the mushrooms back into the now-empty pot. Melt butter in it, then stir in a heap of grated Parmesan, stirring to emulsify, and adding a splash of the reserved cooking water, if need be.

The fastest Alfredo you'll ever make.
The fastest Alfredo you’ll ever make.

Divide among two serving plates, and top with plenty of black pepper, a little grated nutmeg, and a drizzle of your best olive oil.

The mushrooms eat like spaghetti with a sauce that’s lighter tasting since there’s no heavy cream in it.

It makes for a novel and thoroughly re-imagined take on the classic Italian favorite.

You can even twirl the mushrooms around your fork tines just like pasta.
You can even twirl the mushrooms around your fork tines just like pasta.

Enoki Alfredo

(Serves 2)

Coarse salt

1 pound enoki mushrooms

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces

2 ounces finely grated Parmesan (a little more than 1/2 a cup)

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Freshly grated nutmeg

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil.

Trim the enoki and separate the strands into piles. Cook the mushrooms in the boiling water for 1 1/2 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid and drain the mushrooms.

Return the mushrooms to the pot. Add the butter, stirring until melted. Add the Parmesan and stir vigorously until the sauce is glossy and creamy. Add a little of the reserved cooking water, if needed.

Top with pepper, a scant grating of nutmeg, and a drizzle of oil, and serve.

From “Cooking with Mushrooms” by Andrea Gentl

More Marvelous Mushroom Recipes to Try: Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies with Candy Cap Mushrooms

And: Green Risotto with Mushrooms

And: Roasted Portobello Mushroom “Joong”

And: Portobello Mushroom & Celery Salad with Black Garlic Sourdough Crumbs

And: Black Pepper Portobello Mushrooms

And: Steamed Tofu and Trumpet Mushrooms with Ginger, Scallion, and Soy

And: Sauteed Shiitake Mushrooms with Sage by Eric Ripert

And: Seared Miso Mushrooms

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  • Ooh, this looks so good! It looks remarkably creamy even though it only has cheese in it.

  • Hi Joanna: Well, it still has butter in it, too. LOL But yes, it’s surprisingly creamy and Alfredo-like, given that there’s no cream in it nor any pasta noodles. It definitely makes indulging in it guilt-free. Enjoy!

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