01 January 2016

Pasta with mushrooms and gremolata

Pasta with mushrooms and gremolata

This savory pasta is just one idea for gremolata, a pungent mixture of garlic, lemon zest and parsley. It’s terrific with the sautéed mushrooms and makes a great condiment for a variety of roasted vegetables.

2 plump garlic cloves, finely minced

1/2 cup finely minced flat-leaf parsley

1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon zest

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound cultivated or wild mushrooms, like shiitakes, chanterelles or oyster mushrooms, or a combination, trimmed and quartered if small, cut in thick slices if large

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons dry white wine

Freshly ground black pepper

12 ounces fettuccini or farfalle

1/4 to 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, to taste

1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional)

1. To make the gremolata, place the minced garlic, parsley and lemon zest in a mound and chop them together with a chef’s knife. Set aside.

2. Begin heating a large pot of water for the pasta. Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and when it’s hot, add the mushrooms. Sear the mushrooms, stirring with a wooden spoon or tossing in the pan, until they are lightly browned and begin to sweat. Add the salt and the white wine and continue to cook, stirring or tossing the mushrooms in the pan, until the wine has just about evaporated and the mushrooms are glazed, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the gremolata and pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 more minute. Taste and adjust salt. Keep the mixture warm while you cook the pasta.

4. When the water comes to a rolling boil, salt generously and add the pasta. Cook al dente, following the timing instructions on the package. Before draining, remove 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Add 1/4 cup of it to the mushrooms and stir together.

5. Drain the pasta and toss with the mushrooms in a large pasta bowl or in the pan. If it seems dry, add 2 to 4 tablespoons of the reserved cooking water. Serve with Parmesan cheese if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.

Advance preparation: You can make this through Step 2 (without heating the pasta water) several hours before you wish to serve. Heat the pasta water and reheat the mushrooms, then proceed with Step 3 shortly before serving.

Nutritional information per serving: 411 calories; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 69 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 17 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 15 grams protein