Mushroom and Fresh Herb Pasta
This simple pasta dish features a variety of mushrooms as its key flavour, with fresh herbs as an accent.
1 cup (250 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) red onion, finely diced
1 small sprig fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely diced
10 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped
6 cups (1.5 L) mixed mushrooms, sliced
3 Tbsp (45 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 454-gram package dried or fresh pasta, cooked al dente
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups (500 mL) fresh Parmesan, coarsely grated
2 handfuls fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
The mushrooms are the stars of this simple dish. You’ll need a total of six cups (1.5 L) of sliced mushrooms, and you can use any combination of the many varieties, shapes and sizes. Many large grocery stores and farmers’ markets sell shiitake, portobello, oyster, button and crimini. Then there are the more exotic mushrooms, such as chanterelles and matsutake, which may be harder to find but are full of flavour. Add a smoky element to the pasta by grilling the mushrooms on the barbecue.
For the pasta, you can use either fresh or dried. I have become very fond of Felicetti Dried 100% Organic Tagliatelle, which I found in my local health food store. Whatever type you use, be sure to salt the water before cooking the pasta. This will add to the overall flavour of the dish.
In a medium saucepan, add 1/2 cup (125 mL) olive oil, plus red onion and rosemary.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring regularly, until onions are translucent. Add the remaining olive oil, plus garlic, sage and mushrooms. Sauté gently until mushrooms are tender.
Add balsamic vinegar and mix thoroughly.
Add cooked pasta to mushroom mixture, and toss. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Place in a large serving dish, and top with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.