Make us your home page
Instagram

This olive oil-lemon juice-mushroom pasta sauce is a lighter option

Soaking mushrooms in olive oil, salt, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice “cooks” them just a little while the pasta boils.

TNS

Soaking mushrooms in olive oil, salt, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice “cooks” them just a little while the pasta boils.

Pasta 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.

Enter Nigella Lawson. I spotted her Lemon Mushroom Pasta recently on the website Food 52 and immediately had to have it in my life. I'm a serious fan of lemon and garlic, so I knew it would land in my happy place.

Two 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, there's a little cheese, but not a lot.

Second, the variations are endless. Don't have linguine? Try fettucine, or angel hair, or orchiette, or farfelle. I made it one night with penne and it was delicious. Don't have thyme or parsley? Skip 'em and toss in some thawed frozen peas or freshly, lightly cooked sugar snaps, halved grape tomatoes or maybe sliced green onions. Don't like Parmesan? Try Gruyere, or manchego. Any hard cheese would work. The first time I made it, I used sliced shiitake mushrooms from the farmers market. The next time, I used button mushrooms from the supermarket. I think any mushrooms would work — try cremini, oyster or hen of the woods.

The only thing you can't 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 won't need meat at all.

How great is that? Thanks, Nigella.

>>EASY

Linguine With Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Mushrooms

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

cup good-quality olive oil

1 tablespoon flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) or 1 ½ teaspoons table salt

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

8 ounces to 1 pound linguine or other pasta

½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)

2 to 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

Freshly ground black pepper

Bring 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.

Add 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 there's still a little water clinging to it. Drop it into the bowl with the mushrooms and toss together well.

Add the parsley, if using, cheese and pepper. Toss again and serve.

Makes 3 to 6 servings.

Source: Adapted from Food52 and Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson (Hyperion, 2007)

This olive oil-lemon juice-mushroom pasta sauce is a lighter option 09/06/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2016 11:51am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Seasoned cast scores an extra-base hit for St. Petersburg Opera with 'Faust'

    Stage

    TAMPA — Charles Gounod's Faust sets the table early. The world-weary philosopher immortalized in a dramatic poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is in his study, lamenting his state of affairs. He's willing to give away everything he has to be young again, even his soul.

    The St. Petersburg Opera Company begins its season with Faust, in a production seemingly aligned with the original intent of French composer Charles Gounod and librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carre. [St. Petersburg Opera Company]
  2. Blake High grad Taylor Trensch lands lead role in 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway

    Stage

    For those who saw Taylor Trensch grow up in Tampa, his rise from promising student to star is heartwarming and entirely predictable. In January, Trensch, 28, will be moving into the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, one of the hottest tickets in theater.

    Taylor Trensch, a 2007 Blake High graduate, will play the title role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. Courtesy of Frank Trensch.
  3. A scene from "Epiphany."
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 22

    Events

    Clearwater Jazz Holiday: The Avett Brothers: The Avett Brothers, with their blend of folk, bluegrass and rock, lead the lineup. 1:30 p.m., Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $16 per day, $45 reserved, $170 VIP. (727) 461-5200.

    AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 15:  (L-R)  Joe Kwon, Bob Crawford, Seth Avett, and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers pose for a portrait at the "May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers" Premiere - 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals on March 15, 2017 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 21

    Events

    Conor Oberst: The Bright Eyes mastermind will be joined by opener, the Felice Brothers. 8 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $30.50-$36. (727) 791-7400.

    Handout photo of Conor Oberst, performing Oct. 21 at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. Credit: Grandstand Media