Creamy Mushroom Bucatini with Seared Scallops
This is going to be a short blog post, because I already professed my love for this creamy mushroom sauce and gave instructions on how to make it in it’s own post. (Yes, the sauce deserves it’s own post!!!!) On that note, I am getting requests to make sauce recipe posts that are separate from the full dish, so bear with me while I figure out the formatting here. This is the dish that I originally served my creamy mushroom sauce with. Bucatini tossed in glossy, creamy, earthy sauce and topped with seared scallops and fresh herbs.
Along with the mushroom sauce, this bucatini with said mushroom sauce and scallops is also super easy! You really just toss the bucatini (and a bit of its accompanying pasta water) in the mushroom sauce. Then, for an added element of “wow” you can top it with seared scallops (completely optional, but also surprisingly easy to make.) I prefer sans scallops for a pasta starter or side. I prefer with the scallops if you want to serve this as a main. It’s all up to your preference, though! Don’t let me tell you what you like! You know best.
topped with scallops and herbs
First step before you get started is to make the mushroom sauce. Recipe below.
Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Olive oil for pan
- 10 oz. mushrooms (I used cremini mushrooms, but you can use a mushroom of your choice) sliced
- 1 medium shallot minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp butter
- Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Season generously with olive oil (about 1 tbsp, but how much depends on the size of your skillet) and wait until the olive oil is shimmering. Keep some more oil on hand to put into the pan if it dries up during the cooking process.
- Add the mushroom slices to the pan and make sure that they are as evenly spread out as possible. You don't want to overcrowd the pan, so make sure your skillet can fit them all!
- Lightly sprinkle some salt around the mushrooms to season them (about 1/8 tsp.) Let the mushrooms sear 1-2 minutes, until golden brown. Flip and let them cook until tender and golden brown all around (you want them to look similar to this picture.)
- Add another splash of oil to the pan so that it's not dry. Add the minced shallot. Sauté until golden brown and softened (1-2 minutes.)
- Lower the heat to medium. If needed, add a little more oil. If your pan is still seasoned and not dry on the surface don't add anymore! We just want to make sure our garlic doesn't burn on the dry hot pan. Add the garlic and a pinch of salt. Sauté another minute, until the garlic is fragrant. You should see golden browned bits forming at the bottom of the pan from the mushrooms, shallots and garlic. That's what we want!
- Pour the 1/2 cup of white wine into the pan. It will be very smoky at first, so stand back to make sure you are as safe as possible! The mixture should be bubbling and those golden browned bits should start to come off of the an and become part of the liquid.
- Use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape the browned bits off of the bottom of the pan, so it becomes picked up by the liquid. This is called "deglazing."
- Lower the heat to medium low and let the liquid reduce and lightly bubble for 2 minutes or so, until it looks like the image here.
- Add all of the heavy cream.
- Mix the heavy cream into the mushroom mixture. Once its fully mixed in, add the butter and continue mixing until melted.
- Let the sauce thicken in the pan for about 4 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so. It should be lightly bubbling, not extremely boiling. Medium low heat should do the trick, but if its not bubbling at all or thickening, feel free to lightly increase the heat. Taste the mushroom cream mixture and make sure the salt levels are to your liking. If not, add another sprinkle of salt and mix until combined. Once the sauce is thickened, taste it once more to make sure the salt levels are to your liking, then remove it from the heat.
- If you want to serve the sauce on another day, let the sauce cool and cover it in an air-tight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. If you still have to make the protein or pasta you are serving it with, cover with a lid and then prepare the pasta or protein. You want to make sure it's covered, or else the top will oxidize and develop a film. Covering it ensures that this wont happen! Enjoy!
You could also take a shortcut and use a can of cream of mushroom soup, which you can watch me do on Amazon LIVE.
Creamy Mushroom Bucatini with Seared Scallops
- Creamy mushroom sauce recipe above*
- 1/2 box bucatini or another pasta of your choice
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 10 dry or wild sea scallops make sure they are not labelled "wet scallops" or bay scallops!
- Salt for seasoning the scallops
- 2 tbsp butter
- Fresh parsley for topping
- Shredded Parmesan for topping
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the bucatini (or pasta of your choice) until al dente. Follow the box instructions.
- While your water comes to a boil, make the creamy mushroom sauce according to the recipe.
- Once the pasta is al dente, transfer it to the skillet with the creamy mushroom sauce using pronged spoon or spaghetti rake. You will bring some pasta water along with the bucatini and that's fine! It will slightly thin the sauce out and help it stick to the pasta. Just make sure you let any excess water drip off the pasta for a few seconds before you transfer it and put it into the sauce (even when you let the excess water drip off, you still bring a little pasta water into the sauce.)
- On low heat, delicately toss the bucatini into the mushroom sauce, until it's fully coated and looks glossy and saucy. Plate the pasta and set aside. Feel free to cover the pasta with foil to keep it as warm as possible and prevent oxidization. Not necessary but always welcome!
- Heat a skillet over high heat (the highest of the high!) After 1-2 minutes, test if the skillet is hot enough by splashing a little bit of water onto the surface. If the water evaporates and bubbles, the skillet is not hot enough. If the water beads up andd bounces on the surface, your skillet is good to go! Pour the water out of the skillet into the sink.
- Thoroughly dry off the scallops with a paper towel and season with salt on both sides. Make sure they are as dry as possible before moving on to the next step.
- Season the skillet with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. It will be shimmering immediately and start lightly smoking.
- Immediately place the scallops around the rim of the pan, where the oil pools up. Fun fact: the edges of the pan (where the oil settles) are hotter than the center. Space the scallops out accordingly and do not overcrowd the pan. If necessary, you can make them in two batches! It only takes 2 minutes.
- Do not touch the scallops for 1-2 minutes. (For smaller scallops this will be closer to 1 minute, for larger scallops this will be closer to 2 minutes.) When you see a strong golden brown ring forming around the scallop, lightly lift it with a spatula to see if it's perfectly golden brown. Do not lift the scallop if the golden brown rim is only faint golden brown or light golden in color.
- Once the scallops are golden brown to perfection, flip them and let them sear another minute.
- Move the scallops to one side of the skillet and then add 2 tbsp of butter on the empty side of the pan, opposite of the scallops. As it melts, use a spoon to pour the melted butter onto the scallops as they finish searing. This is called basting. You're basically just keeping the scallops juicy, while adding a ton of flavor, as they finish searing! Because the butter gets so hot, it naturally browns and gets toasty. That's why browned butter scallops are a *~thing~*
- Plate them onto the pasta immediately and finish off the dish with a little bit of Parmesan cheese and a lot of fresh parsley. Serve immediately!
If you want to take a short cut with some cream of mushroom soup, you can get the recipe on the Amazon LIVE Instagram!