I stumbled upon this Nigella Lawson recipe in the New York times a number of years ago and it used to be one of my staples (back when I worked in an office) for those evenings when I got home late, was starving, and didn't want to really cook. I haven't made it in quite a while because our garden has been bursting with produce so every pasta dish has revolved around what's been freshly picked, but this is so ridiculously easy and delicious that I'm bringing it back into the rotation.
You will notice this post is brief, as in really really easy! I'm not sure this even qualifies as cooking since only the pasta requires heat, everything else is just prepped and mixed and we really enjoyed the spicy flavor of our raw homegrown garlic. I was expecting Little Smith to reject the tangy lemon and the texture of the mushrooms, but he surprised me by loving it and demanding seconds. I was pretty proud of that little sophisticated palette (at least for this week!).
Simplest Lemon Mushroom Pasta: from Nigella Lawson, published as "Linguine with Lemon, Garlic, and Thyme Mushrooms" in The New York Times
- 4 c thinly sliced cremini mushrooms
- 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs kosher or sea salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- zest and juice of one lemon
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 1 lb long pasta (spaghetti, fettuccine, linguine, etc.)
- 1/2 c chopped parsley (I didn't have parsley this time and it was actually still good)
- freshly grated parmesan and fresh pepper to taste
Combine the lemon zest and juice, minced garlic, salt, olive oil, and thyme in a large bowl. Toss in the sliced mushrooms.
Cook the pasta in salted water, drain retaining a bit of the water and pour the hot pasta over the mushroom mixture. Toss in the parsley, pepper, and cheese and mix it all together, and you're done! Plate with some extra grated cheese and pepper.
My assistant was unusually obsessed with the lemon (it does look a lot like a little yellow ball after all- never gets old to this kid).
Little Smith and I ate ours right away warm. Big Smith enjoyed his room temperature when he got home from work with a side of sauteed chard from our garden.
Quick, flavorful, and hardly any clean-up... this pasta has it all. It's also so much fun to slurp long noodles, I certainly hope it's too early to worry about those table manners!