Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mushroom Linguine Recipe - Quick & Easy # 3

This has, of late, become my new favourite, stand-by pasta dish.  The minute I saw Nigella make this on her new "Express" TV show I knew I was going to make it - incidentally, when I say new TV show I mean new to us here in New Zealand, the rest of the world probably saw it 2 years ago!

But I digress.  As soon as I saw it I had to make it the very next day, and have been making it every week since.  It is incredibly simple to make;  requires just a handful of ingredients and a bit of chopping;  the only cooking involved is that of boiling the pasta;  the whole dish comes together in just the time it takes to cook the pasta;  and it is great hot or cold the next day if by some remote chance you have leftovers.

I've made a couple of small changes to the recipe, and I don't stick to any specific quantities or measurements - this is a real "handful-of-this-and-a-slosh-of-that" kind of recipe.  The original recipe called for including some garlic.  Since I didn't have any on hand the first time I made this, I just left it out.  To be honest, having now tasted it without the garlic, I don't think that the inclusion of it would be an enhancement.  The garlic doesn't get cooked, so I suspect that the raw garlic could overpower the more subtle flavours of this dish, and so I've continued to leave it out but you should feel free to add it if you choose.  The other little change I made is to add in a handful of toasted walnuts at the end - after all what could be better with pasta, mushrooms, lemon and parsley than toasted walnuts.  I like the little bit of extra texture that they add, and the smokey nutty taste works well with the "woodsy" flavour of the mushrooms.  That said, toasting and chopping walnuts is a little bit of extra work, so if you don't feel inclined to that just leave them out.

I do urge you to try this dish - it's great for a quick evening meal, and very healthy - mushrooms are low in calories, sodium and fat;  they are also rich in potassium (one medium portabello mushroom contains more potassium than a banana or glass of orange juice);  and are an excellent source of riboflavin, niacin, calcium, iron and selenium.  Although this is a vegetarian dish I can tell you that the meat lover around here loves it too, and although I am giving you instructions here for feeding two people this could easily be increased to feed more.

Mushroom Linguine
Adapted from "Nigella Express"
Serves 2

linguine, about 250g
mushrooms (I used Swiss Browns), about 300g
1 lemon, juice and grated zest
extra virgin olive oil, about 1/3 cup
(this is a time when you need to use the very best quality olive oil you can lay your hands on)
garlic, 1 clove (optional)
thyme, fresh or dried
flat-leaf parsley
toasted walnuts, handful (optional)
parmesan cheese, freshly grated
salt & pepper

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, salt liberally, add pasta to the water and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, prepare the mushrooms.

Mushroom Linguine 10, edited

Don't wash the mushrooms, but if any are particularly dirty just wipe them clean with a damp paper towel.  I don't remove the stems, but I do trim the woody ends off.  Slice the mushrooms fairly thinly.

Mushroom Linguine 9, edited

Put all the sliced mushrooms into a large serving bowl.  If using garlic, chop or mince finely and add to the mushrooms.

Mushroom Linguine 8, edited

Add the olive oil and lemon juice to the mushrooms.

Mushroom Linguine 7, edited

Add thyme and freshly grated lemon zest.  Sprinkle over some flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Mushroom Linguine 6, edited

Toss everything together well.  Taste, and then adjust seasoning as necessary, also more oil and or lemon juice as necessary.

Drain pasta, reserving a little of the pasta water.  Add the drained pasta to the mushrooms and toss everything together.

Mushroom Linguine 5, edited

Add about half a cup of the reserved pasta water, a generous handful (or two) of freshly grated parmesan, and the toasted walnuts.

Mushroom Linguine 4, edited

Toss everything together well, adding a little more of the pasta water if necessary, until all the pasta is well coated. Sprinkle flat-leaf parsley over the top and serve with extra freshly grated parmesan on the side.

Mushroom Linguine 3, edited

A fresh green salad and some crusty bread would be great accompaniments to this.

For more great recipe ideas like this, I recommend:

Nigella Express: Good Food, Fast

Available from Amazon, Book Depository UK, and Fishpond NZ

I'm submitting this post to the Hearth and Soul blog hop, a place where you'll find lots of wonderful people who are passionate about great food and cooking from the heart - do go and have a look at what they're all cooking this week.


  1. love the addition of roasted walnuts!

  2. Mushroom pasta is a lifetime favorite for me and yours look delicious! I'll swing by your blog very soon to try some of your recipes. BTW, I love the name!

  3. Annie - I can't go past the walnuts, though hazelnuts would probably be great too :-)

    Matilda - thanks for visiting and lovely comment. Hope you come back again soon :-)


  4. Anything that is quick and easy to prepare normally attracts my attention. This looks great. I have to agree with you, the walnuts should add just that little bit of something special.

  5. Hi Sue,

    What a healthy pasta! Love the changes you have made and your step by step method, really yum. Thanks for visiting my site and your lovely comment, keep in touch ya...

  6. This sounds so delicious, thanks for sharing, and stopping by!

  7. This sounds really easy to put together and it is so healthy...looks delicious too :)

  8. Oh YES YES YES!!! I think toasted, crunchy, earthy walnuts are PERFECT in this dish with the mushrooms, too. What a lovely dish, it's exactly the kind I go for: rich, savory, nutritious, interesting textures and flavors.

  9. mushrooms are so healthy =) Thanx for dropping by =)

  10. Sue,
    I love your dish, the mushrooms, the parmesan and the lemon zest...all bright flavors in one plate !
    I also love the fact that you teach yoga and that you are "no means a strict vegetarian, but consume a "mainly vegetarian" diet " is the way I also eat...I feel that everything should be consumed depending on preferences but moderation is the key...
    Its always nice to meet like minded people :)

  11. Thanks Arnold - thanks for dropping by again.

    Trick and Treat - thanks so much for visiting and for your lovely comments. Will definitely keep in touch :-)

    Thanks Melynda.

    Tigerfish - thanks. I love that something so quick and delicious is also good for you - it's such a "win-win".

    Sophia - thanks so much - yes, I think texture is such an important component to a dish.

    Cardamom - thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    Tanvi - thanks for visiting and your lovely comments - yes, everything in moderation - nice to meet someone else who gets it :-)


  12. Hi, just discovered your blog!!! It still 11:00A.m. but seeing your post I am mouthwatering!!!

  13. What a perfect pasta dish, and I love that you included walnuts.

  14. I just love that woman!! I so wish I could watch her on tv, again. This dish sounds amazing, too. YUM! So glad you shared it w/ the hearth and soul hop this week!

  15. Sue - I think that'd I'd eat anything Nigella made for me. I just adore her. Wouldn't it be fun to have a gals night in with her. The mushrooms certainly seem very seductive here, yummy. Thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  16. Colores - thanks for visiting - drool away :-)

    Louanne - thanks for visiting again - seems everyone is in agreement of the walnuts :-)

    Heather & Butter - nice to know there are more Nigella fans out there - I just love her whole no-fuss approach to food. Oh Butter - I imagine a girls night in with Nigella would be a real hoot!

    Sue :-)

  17. If there's one thing I've learned in life it's that there are certain chefs you you should trust implicitly. And nigella is totally one of them. Delicious pasta dish!

  18. Looks wonderful! I believe the best dishes are those where you throw the measuring utensils out the window and just add whatever moves you at the moment.

  19. I love how easy Nigella's recipes are to adapt - and your adaptation of her recipe looks wonderful! I'm not even a big fan of mushrooms and it is making my mouth water!!

  20. Do you know I've never made a single recipe of Nigella, and I absolutely lover her! I used to watch her on t.v. all the time (not sure if she's on here anymore). This sounds like a great dish - fast, easy and flavourful!

  21. Yum. That looks delicious. We have been on a mushroom kick lately too. I think adding mushrooms always make a dish more special.I love the addition of the walnuts too.

  22. What a great fast dish - I love mushrooms, alas not everyone else in my family does - I will have to save this for a special dh and I meal. Thanks for linking and sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  23. This looks of those dishes that just hits the spot! I love the walnuts and the parmesan cheese. Great dish!

  24. This is definitely one awesome dish - I can already imagine myself becoming addicted to it, seriously! No problem taking the extra time to chop the walnuts - small bag of shelled walnuts + mallet = chopped walnuts ;-)

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you have a delicious weekend!

  25. Suzy Q, I love mushrooms because they do FEEL like meaty goodness and are packed with vitamins and other phtyochemicals that are so darn healthy for you, then of course, they taste DELICIOUS! I love tossing them together with pasta and cheese! Thanks so much sweet pea for sharing on the hearth and soul hop this week! Love ya! alex

  26. Joanne - you're right about Nigella - I've never had a fail with one of her recipes.

    Cook of the House - thanks for visiting. I share your sentiments exactly.

    April - that is a great thing about Nigella's recipes - I think of them more as inspirations rather than instructions.

    Brenda - once you start cooking with Nigella, you'll never look back.

    City Share - thanks for visiting again - I always think mushrooms are a great way of making a meal feel "quite substantial".

    Christy - hope you get a chance to have that special meal for two :-)

    Karen & Martha - thanks so much for visiting and your lovely comments. I loved the walnuts too.

    Alex - thanks for swinging by, lovie. I also like that thing with mushrooms, that makes them seem kind of meaty - the texture and that sort of "savoury" taste, means you can often give a vegetarian meal to a meat-eater and they don't mind.

    Sue :-)


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