Brown Butter & Cream Orecchiette with Cremini Mushrooms & Kale

Mushroom lovers, this one's for you.
Brown Butter & Cream Orecchiette with Cremini Mushrooms & Kale

Recipe by Rachael Ray

  • Serves 4 to 6 as an entrée or 8 to 10 as a sideServings


  • 1 package (1 lb. or 500 grams) or orecchiette (“little ears”) pasta
  • 1 cup peeled hazelnuts (I like Buon’Italia’s, which are from Piedmont, Italy)
  • 6 tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 lbs. cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • White pepper
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tbsp.)
  • 1 bundle Lacinato kale (also called Tuscan kale), stemmed and very thinly sliced
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/4 tsp.
  • About 1/2 to 3/4 cup heavy cream, to your taste
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for passing at the table


1. Preheat the oven to 300°.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

3. Chop the nuts and place on a small baking sheet. Toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a large (12- to 14-inch) skillet, melt the butter over medium heat; cook, stirring often, until brown and fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms; cook until browned, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with kosher salt, black pepper, and white pepper. Add the thyme, garlic, and lemon juice; toss until coated, about 1 minute. Add the kale; toss until wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg, then the cream; cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 1 minute.

5. After the mushrooms have been browning for 10 to 12 minutes, salt the boiling water, add the pasta, and cook until 1 minute shy of al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water just before draining.

6. Drain the pasta and toss with the mushrooms, 1 cup cheese, and the pasta cooking water. Season; top with the nuts. Pass more cheese at the table.