This recipe serves three easily with extra left over for lunches the next day.
1 pkg. penne pasta
6 - 8 large shitake mushrooms (you can substitute)
6 - 8 ounces ricotta, whole milk
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
While the pasta is cooking start your sauce. Heat oil and butter over medium heat. Saute mushrooms in oil until partially done, then add salt and pepper (just a pinch to start). Add a large mixing spoon of pasta water, cover and simmer on low. Before you drain your pasta remove a cup of the pasta water. Now add the ricotta and cup of pasta water to the mushrooms and oil. On medium heat stir until the ricotta has dissolved in the water, allow to thicken for a few minutes, adjust seasoning. Pour cooked pasta into the sauce and mix until all the pasta is well covered with the sauce. Serve with a grating of parmesan cheese if you wish.
This is a nice way to serve a creamy sauce without all of the fat of Alfredo sauce. I did not add any garlic because I didn't want to cover the delicate flavor of the shitake mushrooms. If I was using just a white button mushroom I would probably add a finely chopped clove of garlic.