Perhaps this isn’t an issue in all areas of the country, but around here shiitake mushrooms can be incredibly expensive. At times I’ve seen them for as much as $19 a pound, though they seem to hold steady at closer to $9-12. That is the beautiful thing about Asian grocers. I can walk in and get a ginormous package of shiitakes for about 3 bucks. Other products such as jasmine rice which tend to be grossly overpriced in the normal supermarket are much cheaper at the Asian grocery as well. Oh and they have more types of tofu than you can shake a stick at, if you’re the sort of person that likes shaking sticks at tofu. I am.
Oh yeah, this post was about some food I made!
There is something slightly sexy about this style of pasta dish. Is it the earthy, smokey flavor of the mushrooms? Perhaps the small amount of spice from the addition of chili flakes? It could be the subtle flavor of white wine that comes through beneath the brightness of chopped, fresh herbs. Maybe I just saw Lady and the Tramp one too many times and now noodles conjure up mental images of smooching. Whatever it is I can’t help but feel that this dish is a great date night meal. That’s assuming that whoever you will be cooking for isn’t one of those crazy folks that recoil in terror at the mere mention of the word “mushroom”. I’m looking at you, Brian.
Whether it’s for a date or not, if you want a dish that is elegant yet effortless, get thee to an Asian market for cheap shiitakes and start cooking.
- 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thickly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 ounces white wine
- 6 ounces whole wheat fettucine (I used the brand Al Dente which cooks up in only 3 minutes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon truffle oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- In a bowl large enough to accommodate the mushrooms, whisk together 1 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, and the white wine. Toss mushrooms in this mixture and spread evenly on a cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes.
- While the mushrooms are in the oven prepare fettuccine according to package instructions and start the seasoned oil base for your pasta. Depending on the brand of pasta you use this step can come together very quickly, so start working as near to the end of the mushrooms’ cooking process as possible.
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add 1 clove of minced garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally until the garlic is lightly browned.
- Throw the cooked, drained pasta, roasted mushrooms, and remaining ingredients (salt, cheese, fresh herbs, and truffle oil) into the skillet and toss to coat well. Serve immediately. Garnish with additional fresh herbs if desired.