I love mushrooms so much, that this recipe uses two kinds in this dish: your workaday standard creminis and somewhat-exotic shiitakes. These umami vessels are joined by healthy spinach, savory sun-dried tomatoes, and herbaceous, flavor-eous pesto. It’s all twirled together with pasta that makes for an easy-peasy, maximum flavor meal just when you need it.
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 oz. Cremini Mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch
- 3 oz. Shiitake Mushrooms, stemmed and sliced 1/4 inch
- 1 Shallot, peeled and thinly sliced.
- 4 oz. Baby Spinach
- 5 oz. Linguine
- 1 oz. Julienned Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- ¼ cup Basil Pesto (See Cook’s Notes. Recipe Follows Below.)
- 1 small plum or Roma tomato, sliced
- 1 oz. Shredded Asiago Cheese
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Bring 8 cups water and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a medium pot. Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente, 9-11 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta in a colander. DO NOT RINSE THE PASTA. Set aside.
While pasta cooks, brown mushrooms. Place a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cremini mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms to the hot pan. Stir occasionally until well-browned, 4-5 minutes.
Add shallot to pan. Stir occasionally until tender, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the spinach reserved pasta cooking water, sun-dried tomatoes, a pinch of salt salt, and ¼ teaspoons black pepper. Cook until spinach wilts, 2-3 minutes.
Add the pasta and pesto to pan and stir to combine.
To serve, add the finished pasta to a large bowl, garnishing with Asiago and sliced tomatoes.
Pesto is a mouthful of bright brightness. You can buy it in a jar or in the refrigerator section of your grocery story, but there is nothing better than making it yourself. Fresh basil can be found in abundance at farmers’ markets in the summer. Just clean, take the stems off and throw the leaves in a food processor with nuts and garlic. Dribble in the oil and you’ve got a versatile sauce for pasta, chicken or fish.
Yields 2 cups
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
- 2 large cloves garlic
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Combine basil leaves, pine nuts or walnuts and garlic in a food processor and process until very finely minced.
- With the machine running slowly dribble in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the cheese and process very briefly, just long enough to combine. Store in refrigerator or freezer.
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