mushroom in olive oil, salt and lemon juice
"cooks" them while the pasta boils.
is always a conundrum as a side dish. I want to pencil it
into my weekly meal plan, but then I blank on how to sauce
it: Cream? So fattening for a weeknight. Tomato? Good, but
it gets old. Lots of cheese? Heavy again.
Nigella Lawson. I spotted her Lemon Mushroom Pasta recently
on the website Food 52 and immediately had to have it in my
life. Iím a serious fan of lemon and garlic, so I knew it
would land in my happy place.
things about the recipe really grabbed my attention: First,
the cooking method. You toss sliced mushrooms in a serving
bowl with lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil and a generous
amount of salt. And then you let them sit while the pasta
cooks. The acidity "cooks" the mushrooms just a
little, softening them up, so when you toss in the cooked
pasta with a little water clinging to it, you get a juicy
sauce with a lot of flavor without grabbing for butter or
cream. Yes, thereís a little cheese, but not a lot.
the variations are endless. Donít have linguine? Try
fettucine, or angel hair, or orchiette, or farfelle. I made
it one night with penne and it was delicious. Donít have
thyme or parsley? Skip Ďem and toss in some thawed frozen
peas or freshly, lightly cooked sugar snaps, halved grape
tomatoes or maybe sliced green onions. Donít like
parmesan? Try gruyere, or manchego. Any hard cheese would
work. The first time I made it, I used sliced shiitake
mushrooms from the farmerís market. The next time, I used
button mushrooms from the supermarket. I think any mushrooms
would work Ė try cremini, oyster or hen of the woods.
only thing you canít skip are lemon juice, the olive oil
and the mushrooms. One night, I used it as a side dish
beside flank steak. Another night, I piled slices of sauteed
chicken breast on top. You could just round it out with some
good bread and a salad and you wonít need meat at all.
great is that? Thanks, Nigella.
WITH LEMON, GARLIC AND THYME MUSHROOMS
from Food52 and "Nigella Express," by Nigella
Lawson (Hyperion, 2007).
(8 ounces) sliced mushrooms
cup good-quality olive oil
tablespoon flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) or 1 1/2
teaspoons table salt
small clove garlic, minced
lemon, zested and juiced
teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
ounces to 1 pound linguine or other pasta shape
cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
2 to 3
tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
ground black pepper
a large pot of salted water to boil. Slice the mushrooms and
put them in a large serving bowl with the oil, salt, garlic,
lemon juice and zest and thyme. Stir to coat the mushrooms,
then let them stand while you cook the pasta.
the pasta to the boiling water and cooking according to
package directions. Use tongs or a pasta fork to remove the
cooked pasta from the water, draining loosely so thereís
still a little water clinging to it. Drop it into the bowl
with the mushrooms and toss together well.
the parsley (if using), cheese and pepper. Toss again and
3 to 6 servings.