This is some speedy linguine. You do no more to the mushrooms than slice them, steep them in oil, garlic, lemon and thyme and toss them into hot cooked pasta. The only thing you cook is the pasta. It's sort of weird for me to not cook the mushrooms in a saute pan first, but since they sit and marinate in the lemon/oil mixture, it sort of "cooks" and softens them before you add them to the pasta. the dressed mushrooms also make a great salad, but in which case boost the quantities of sliced mushrooms (keeping other ingredients the same, and obviously you're omitting the pasta altogether) to 6 cups. If all you can find is regular button mushrooms, this pasta is still worth making- so no excuse for not, or so Nigella Lawson says, who is the creator of this recipe. Obviously, I get excited about tossing all sorts of varieties in there...Trumpet, oyster, and cremini, since I've never met a mushroom I didn't like. This is a perfect, casual weeknight supper if I've ever seen one and I'm glad to have it in my repertoire.
One word of caution that I would give is to resist the urge to add more garlic. If you are like me, the one clove for the whole dish seems puny but you have to remember it stays raw and so it is quite flavorful. Too much garlic and it will get too spicy. This is a robust pasta and is very lemony. I love that, but I mention it because not everybody does, and if that is you I recommend only using half of the lemons juice instead of the whole thing. I'm kind of from the more lemon the better camp, so this is right up my ally.
Linguine with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Mushrooms
adapted from Nigella Lawson Express
8 ounces (4 cups) finely sliced cremini mushrooms (or a mix of any varieties)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Kosher salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 sprigs fresh thyme stripped to give 1 teaspoon leaves
1 pound linguini ( I used whole wheat)
1 bunch fresh, flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped to give 1/2 cup
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly grated Paremsan, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Slice the mushrooms finely, and put them into a large bowl with the oil, salt, minced garlic, lemon juice and zest, and thyme leaves.
Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and drain loosely retaining some water (see note). Quickly put the pasta into the bowl with the mushroom mixture.
Toss everything together well, and then add the parsley, cheese and pepper before tossing again. Eat with joy in your heart (Nigella's words, not mine).
*note- you want a little of the starchy cooking liquid from the pasta to go into the mushroom mixture with your pasta. The little bit of water helps to make the dish saucier because of the starch.
Well we are back from Lincoln, NE where we celebrated Thanksgiving with Jeremy's family. We all got sick while we were there. I'm happy to report that I was less sick than Jeremy but it was still no fun not being able to participate in everything and rather just sit like a lump on the couch. :( On an up note, my birthday was yesterday and we went to Cafe Diva, the best restaurant in town to celebrate with friends for dinner. There was Champagne and duck confit pizza with apple butter and gruyere, crab and tomato bisque, bouillabaisse, and gingerbread with marscapone gelato. It was a good night indeed. Oh, and I also got a manicure and pedicure. Sparkly christmas red for my toes, and a sparkly dark blue for my hands. I was feeling edgy and Paris chic, with that choice. ;)