Sometimes when I get a craving for pasta, only creamy will do. But the great thing about this is that there isn’t actually that much cream in it at all. Just a little drizzle, and a couple of tricks…
A healthier creamy pasta
You know how it goes. You’re in the mood for a delicious big bowl of comforting creamy pasta, but you don’t want to eat a big bowl of cream.
Did you know you can make a delicious comforting bowl of creamy pasta with just:
- a few splashes of cream
- a few splashes of pasta water
In other words, NOT a lot of cream!
A colleague who’d just returned from a holiday in Italy introduced me to this idea.
Isn’t that great news? If the Italians think a creamy pasta can be made with just a splash or two of cream, then I’m certainly going to have the confidence to do the same!
How to make chicken and mushroom pappardelle
To make the ‘sauce’
Start with a splash of wine (for flavour), then add crème fraiche – around four tablespoons only – followed by enough pasta cooking water to get things all nicely loosened up.
What’s crème fraiche?
Perhaps you are wondering what on earth crème fraiche is.
It’s a sort of light sour cream that’s pretty popular in the UK. But don’t worry if you don’t live in the UK. You can make this recipe just as easily with regular cream, or even sour cream.
I just like to use crème fraiche because it has a light and slightly tangy flavour. It also doesn’t curdle in the pan when you heat it.
What else do you need to make this creamy chicken pasta?
For even more tang, I love to add lemon zest to this dish too – it works perfectly together with the cream, mushrooms and chicken.
A good amount of finely chopped parsley and grated parmesan round things off nicely.
I LOVE this pasta dish. And you’ve got to adore pappardelle. I love that it comes from the Italian verb ‘to gobble’ (‘pappare’). It’s such a perfect description of how I eat this dish!
More easy pasta recipes
- 15-minute creamy pesto chicken with mushrooms and parmesan (I usually serve this with tagliatelle!)
- 6-ingredient sausage pappardelle bolognese (recipe includes a stove top or pressure cooker version)
- Easy pasta alla norma (tomato and eggplant pasta)
- quick tagliatelle in a cherry tomato, chorizo and cream sauce
- lemony broccoli and prosciutto pasta (this one’s great for spring!)
Or take a look at all my pasta recipes.
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Creamy chicken and mushroom pappardelle
Ingredients (UK/Australia? Click below for grams/ml)
- a drizzle of oil for cooking
- 10 ounces chicken breast or thigh chopped into small pieces
- 6.5 ounces pappardelle pasta
- 9 ounces tasty mushrooms e.g. chestnut
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- a large drizzle of white wine or chicken stock if you prefer
- zest of 1 lemon
- 4 tablespoons crème fraiche or cream
- a small bunch of parsley washed and chopped finely
- grated parmesan cheese to serve
- Heat up the oil in a large pan, then stir fry the chicken for a few minutes until cooked through. Remove from the pan.
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the mushrooms to the pan you cooked the chicken in and cook until softened (a few minutes). Add the garlic and cook for a minute longer, then add the drizzle of wine and let sizzle for a moment.
- Add the zest to the pan, followed by the crème fraiche or cream and parsley. Lift the pappardelle out of the cooking water and add directly to the pan using tongs.
- Toss everything together well, then add enough cooking water to make the dish loose and silky.
- Serve out into two bowls. Sprinkle with parmesan to taste.