A tasty way to use mushrooms in a meal. This quick and easy pasta recipe is perfect for vegetarians and adaptable for vegans. Combined with ribbons of pasta, it makes a very satisfying meal and one you can make on the fly.
3tablespoonsextra-virgin olive oil
1garlic clove,finely sliced
500gcremini mushrooms,quartered or cut into 2,5cm pieces
250gdried pasta(I like Tagliatelle or whole grain spelt ribbons)
1teaspoonfresh thyme leaves
1/2teaspoonred chili flakes
1/2tablespoonbalsamic vinegar(good quality)
1/3cupdry white wine(60 ml)
Freshly ground pepperto taste
Parmesan cheese,to garnish (optional)
In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic, plus a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are softened, but not browned (2-3 minutes).
Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook until they get a little color (about 5 minutes), then stir and add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Continue cooking until the mushrooms become tender.
Add the tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, thyme leaves and red chili flakes to the mushrooms. Cook for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the white wine and cook for a 2-3 more minutes, until reduced.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package instructions, until al dente, reserving 1/2 cup (125 ml) pasta water, before draining.
Add a little of the pasta water to the mushroom mixture and stir over medium heat. Add the pasta to the pan and using tongs, toss gently to coat with the sauce, adding more of the pasta water, if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired.
Garnish with grated parmesan cheese (if using) and serve immediately.
The mushrooms make this dish quite filling, so unless you are a big eater, feel free to reduce the amount of pasta to 200g. Since mushrooms soak up water, so they should be brushed clean and not washed.
I use a large deep non-stick skillet for this recipe. If using a heavy-bottomed skillet, the mushrooms will brown quicker, so best cooked on medium heat.
Make it vegan: Use a vegan wine for the sauce (or replace it with 2 tablespoons margarine for extra richness), skip the parmesan and garnish it with micro greens or chopped parsley for some extra vitamins.