Un-Chicken Marsala (aka, butter beans and mushrooms in a marsala sauce)

A fellow fitness-loving-foodie-friend of mine posted the most delicious looking Chicken Marsala the other day. I wanted it on the spot, only, I didn’t have any chicken left in the fridge, and living this lockdown life, I wasn’t heading back to the store for another three days. So, I decided to give Chicken Marsala my own little plant-based makeover. Despite dropping the butter, prosciutto and chicken from this recipe, there is still an abundance of flavor and texture thanks to the porcini mushrooms and butter beans. Give this a try and let me know what you think!


  • 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced (baby portabella or button)

  • ½ cup dried porcini mushrooms

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 medium banana shallots sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock

  • ½ cup reserved porcini mushroom water (see note)

  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala wine

  • 1 440ml butter beans, drained and rinsed

  • 100 grams (or 1 cup) fresh baby spinach

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided

  • 1/2 lb. linguine, prepared according to instructions on the package


  1. Prepare the porcini mushrooms by combining ½ cup dried mushrooms and a pint of boiling water in a medium bowl. Allow to rest for 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms, reserving ½ cup of the liquid

  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook until tender.

  3. Adjust heat to medium-high and add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add1/4 teaspoon of salt; cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Add the Marsala and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.

  4. Add the butter beans along with the broth and reserved porcini mushroom liquid, season generously with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium and gently boil, uncovered, until the sauce is reduced by about half, slightly thickened, and darkened in color, 10 to 15 minutes.

  5. While the sauce cooks, cook the linguine according to instructions on its package.

  6. Reduce the heat on the saucepan with the mushrooms and beans to low and stir in spinach and parsley.

  7. Before straining the pasta, reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water. Drain the pasta.

  8. Add ½ cup of the starchy water back to the pot used to cook the linguine and add half of the sauce and cook on medium-high heat. Add the linguine and toss the pasta in the sauce, adding more starchy water as desired.

  9. Distribute pasta among plates and top with more mushrooms, beans and sauce; sprinkle with parsley, if using, and enjoy!

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