If you’ve been following my blog you know how much I love to eat healthy and when it’s vegetarian it’s all the better. I think that sometimes we do get the misconception that if it’s healthy it’s probably not quite as good or that it’s not going to curb that craving we are having at the moment for something not too healthy. Well, I can assure you that it is possible to have a delicious and healthy meal all at the same time!
As you already know I love mushrooms, they do have a reputation of being slimy, or too mushy; however the truth is that they aren’t. The mistake alot of us make when cleaning mushrooms is washing them. However, we are not supposed to wash mushrooms, (and please never, never soak fresh mushrooms) the way we are supposed to clean a mushroom is with a damp cloth, you should gently wipe away any dirt, and in the hard to reach places grab your marinade brush (make sure it’s dry) and gently brush away any excess dirt; voilà you have a clean and ready to cook mushroom. Mushrooms are very porous and moist already, so if you wash them they will absorb all the water and when cooked release all the liquid which in turn make it very soggy, cleaning it the right way will help the mushroom maintain a nice texture and also flavor.
In this recipe I use funghi Pleurotos, it’s a type of mushroom that is quite common here in Italy you can find it all the time at the grocery store. I have not ever seen it in the USA but I would replace it with a Portobello, Porcini or Champignon any mushroom you find should be fine. This is an easy and healthy dish, very few ingredients and time are required, but you’ll look like a million dollar chef. Enjoy!
250 gr. Tagliatelle*
8 oz. of Mushrooms**
1 garlic clove
4 tbsp of Extra virgin Olive oil
a handful of chopped Parsley
grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt and Pepper to taste
crushed Chili pepper to taste (optional)
Place a pot of salted water to boil. In the meantime start cleaning your mushrooms, once they are clean you can slice into 1/4 inch thickness, if the stems are long remove the stem and slice separately then join together all sliced mushrooms and set aside.
In a medium or large sauce pan heat up your olive oil and join your garlic (whole but peeled). If you are using chili peppers you can throw in now as well. Allow the garlic to get golden and remove, throw in your mushrooms and let sauté at medium heat stirring occasionally (not too much). Also add salt; if you feel the need you may add a drop of water to the pan, so the mushrooms don’t stick.
By now your water should be boiling so throw in the Tagliatelle they should only cook for about 4 minutes (always follow box instructions). Drain the pasta and join to the mushrooms, mix together and turn off heat. Add the chopped parsley and pepper. Serve right away and top off with the Parmigiano Reggiano.
* If you don’t find Tagliatelle, you can use Papardelle, Linguine, or even Spaghetti.
** Whatever fresh mushroom you are able to find of course Porcini or Portobello is best but use what is fresh and available.