Extra Creamy Basil Mushrooms Linguine with Parmesan & White Cheddar

Extra creamy linguine pasta made using coconut milk and lots of cheese.

This is a very creamy and saucy pasta and it’s secret is that the pasta sauce is made with coconut milk! Yes! Coconut milk pasta sauce! And the secret trick to an extra saucy sauce is to use more liquid than traditional recipes call for. If you want to have a creamy pasta dish that not dries out at the end then this last tip is key.

If there’s something that brings me joy is to cook are pastas. It’s so fun and mesmerizing how you can have your burners going and, with even the simplest ingredients and in less than 30 minutes, you can have a dish that looks and taste like out from the fanciest restaurant kitchen. I started experimenting in the kitchen by cooking them and, as any other food lover human being, pasta was the way to my heart.

It’s for this reason that I hate nothing more than to be eating a creamy sauce pasta only to have the last bites dried out. Such a bummer! I began to play around with the traditional amount of liquids that most recipes call for. And, probably by accident of adding too much at one time, I realized that plenty of liquid was key in having saucy noodles until the very last bite. No any liquid of course, it has to be a mix of starchy pasta water and a creamy liquid. So, when making this recipe don't panic because of the amount of liquid you’ll have at the end. The pasta will keep absorbing some of it leaving the right amount of sauce on the plate.

Because of how often I cook this kind of pastas, especially on weeknights, I love to use coconut milk instead of heavy cream. They end up lighter than heavy cream or roux based sauces but still creamy and decadent. Plus, your dish will have much less carbs and much more good-for-you fats, extra bonus points for you!!

Most of the time I cook some bacon and then cook the mushrooms on that bacon fat. This adds a delicious crispy and salty twist to the pasta. Sometimes though I will serve it just with the mushrooms for a vegetarian meal. You can use some of your favorite hard or semi-hard white cheeses here, like Asiago, Gruyère or Fontina. I used Parmsan and a nice aged white cheddar because it’s a very nice old-world-meets-mac-and-cheese combination. I just love these two together! And the basil here, as you could see from the tittle, it's a main component, not just few leaves for garnish. You will infuse the sauce with them and then add more at the end. Your kitchen will smell like heaven!

I know that after this recipe you’ll be creating lots of pasta dishes using this coconut milk pasta sauce as a base. Different kind of cheeses, chicken or shrimp, asparagus, sautéed tomatoes or broccolini… The pasta sky is the limit!

Extra Creamy Basil Mushrooms Linguine with Parmesan & White Cheddar

For 3 to 4 full dishes
Total and Active Time -
25 minutes
Equipment - Large pot, large skillet and NutriBullet, small blender or hand grater to grate the cheese

Linguini – 10 oz
Water – 5 to 6 cups
Salt – 2 ¼ TBSP + a pinch for the mushrooms
Extra virgin olive oil – 4 TBSP
Cremini mushrooms, wiped, steams removed and sliced in ⅛” thick slices – about 2 cups, 6 medium size mushrooms
Pure organic coconut milk (preferably full fat but light can work too) – 1 cup
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, grated – ½ cup
Sharp white cheddar cheese, grated – ½ cup
Basil leaves – 1 cup, a big bunch of 15 to 20 large leaves
Freshly ground black pepper – a few sprinkles

In a deep medium to large pot bring the water to a boil over high heat. When the water is rapidly boiling sprinkle the two and fourth tablespoons of salt and stir until the salt is dissolved. Place the pasta inside the pot and using a large cooking spoon start soaking the pasta that is outside the water until its bendable and you can submerge it all. Cook as per package instructions, around eleven to twelve minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking.

in the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat for less than a minute. Add the sliced mushrooms and sprinkle them with the remaining pinch of salt (make it a good pinch) and some freshly ground black pepper. Sautéed by moving constantly for 2 minutes, until the mushrooms look soft and well hydrated with the oil.

Using a large cooking spoon, pour 4 spoonfuls of the pasta water into the skillet. Add the coconut milk and about 6 big basil leaves and combine with the mushrooms for 20 seconds. Bring the heat down to a medium low for a strong simmer and add the cheeses, stirring constantly to prevent them sticking to the bottom of the pan. As soon as most of the cheese is melted transfer the linguini to the skillet using a spaghetti server spoon. Cook for about three minutes or a bit more, tossing constantly to prevent pasta and cheese sticking on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the pasta has absorbed some of the liquid and the sauce starts to look thick. Cook for 30 more seconds. Remember that it is ok if you are still seeing liquid on the skillet, as long as it’s looking thick.

Retire pasta from heat and remove wilted basil. Roughly chopped the remaining basil leaves and combine it with the pasta, along with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper. Serve pasta with some extra sauce on large pasta bowls and sprinkle some extra cheese and pepper if desire. Serve immediately.