A light, simple mushroom pasta


For Chinese New Year, friends of ours gave us a lovely selection of locally cultivated mushrooms from Mycofarm. They were irresistibly beautiful. The tall willow mushrooms were lusciously brown and the Hiratake oyster mushrooms were a soft, almost suede-like shade of gray (oh, what I would give for a pair of shoes in that shade). The first-flush shiitakes were plump, meaty, fresh. Laid out in their paper box, the mushrooms looked like an edible bouquet. I was torn between just staring at them and actually tasting them.

shrooms.jpgI eagerly combed through Antonio Carluccio’s treasure trove of recipes in the Complete Mushroom Book (his guide to wild and cultivated mushrooms is a must-read), but couldn’t decide on a recipe. (I am still toying with the idea of buttery, individual tart cases filled with braised duck leg topped with mushrooms sauteed in salted French butter.)

Today, CH decided to use our stash of mushrooms in a pasta. Ordinarily, he would have chosen to add them to a carbonara, alfredo or some other rich, waist-enlarging sauce. While I do enjoy these sauces, I adore tomato-based sauces even more (he doesn’t). I’m also constantly asking him to make lighter sauces. While it may be okay for him to be a chubby hubby, I don’t want to become a super-sized spouse. To make his wife happy, CH decided to showcase our mushrooms in Tetsuya‘s light, tomato-based mushroom ragout accented with touches of Japanese flavour. Tossed with gorgeous saffron linguine, the dish was a sight to behold and yummy to boot. This simple recipe is a definite keeper.


Tetsuya‘s pasta with a ragout of oriental mushrooms
from the Tetsuya cookbook

50g linguine
30g shimeji mushrooms, sliced
4 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
12 oyster mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sake
2 teaspoons mirin
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
80ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon julienned parsley
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons peeled and diced tomato
1 pinch chilli powder
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
chives, cut into 2cm lengths

Cook the linguine in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside. Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in the olive oil. Once the mushrooms have wilted, add the sake, mirin and soy sauce. Then add the chicken stock. When the mushrooms are cooked, add the pasta and parsley. Toss. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the tomato, chilli powder, sesame seeds and chives. Serve immediately.

(The mixed punnets of mushrooms are only available at 9 Seletar West Farmway 5. Tel: 6773 0377. But I am told that the individual varieties are available at NTUC, Cold Storage and Carrefour.)

About Su-Lyn Tan

Su-Lyn is Aun's better half and for many years, the secret Editor behind this blog known to readers simply as S. Su-Lyn is an obsessive cook and critical eater whose two favourite pastimes are spending time with her three kids and spending time in the kitchen. She looks forward to combining the two in the years to come.