Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lemon Shiitake Pasta with fresh basil

Spring is here!  We started our garden earlier this year and have seen early results.  In addition to two often muddy kids, we have a bountiful supply of arugula and basil.  We're still waiting on our tomatoes, peppers, and strawberries but last week, I made recipes featuring fresh basil and arugula.  One was old and one was new.   If you've never made the Shaved Squash salad, you should definitely consider it - it's even better than I remembered and so healthy.  Our arugula was a little bitter so I added a teaspoon or two of sugar to the vinaigrette to offset the bitterness.

The new dish was a pasta that originally I was a little skeptical of because it seemed like it could be really bland (and I'm not always a huge fan of mushroom centric main dishes).  It turned out light, flavorful, and delicious.  The lemon and basil really complimented each other well and the shiitakes were not slimy.  It would be a nice accompaniment to some grilled chicken for those of you who prefer a main dish with meat.  We ate it with Caprese Stacks and it was a perfect spring meal. 

Lemon Shiitake Pasta with fresh basil (4 servings)
originally from Eating Well

2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed & sliced
2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
2T lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
8 oz pasta (pappardelle or fettuccine)
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. chopped fresh basil, divided

Bringa large pot of lightly salted water to a boil for cooking the pasta.  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat.  Add garlic and stir until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute.  Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium.  Saute until tender and lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.  Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.  

Cook pasta, stirring occasionally until just al dente, following package directions.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.  

Add the pasta, the reserved cooking liquid, the parmesan cheese and half of the basil to the mushrooms in the skillet.  Serve immediately, garnished with remaining basil.

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