Thursday, January 27, 2011

No Nonsense Nosh with Nigella - Mushroom and Lemon Linguine Laced with Thyme

I have a secret love affair with Nigella Lawson. (I guess after that confession, it's not so secret anymore)   ;)

I just love watching her cook. I also love listening to the dulcet tones of her voice as she explains this or that. ("Blitzing" pea soup in the blender or food processor) But the thing that makes her absolutely adorable is when she is eating what she made.  (especially when she is raiding the refrigerator in her nightgown... LOL)

She always eats with such relish that one cannot help but feel the hunger pangs wishing for a big bite of whatever it was she just made. (like margarita ice cream)

I was watching her the other day and she made this delicious Mushroom and Lemon linguine dish, that required absolutely NO cooking whatsoever (other than boiling the pasta).  It sounded delicious, except for one thing.  I am normally not a warm mushroom person.  Oh, I like raw mushrooms in my salad, and I, of course, like them sautéed, puréed and even flambéed, but not really just warmed up by hot noodles.

Since it was obviously delicious, or at least she made me believe so, I decided to tweak it just a little.  Thus is was that instead of simply slicing mushrooms and dumping hot pasta over the top, I have chosen to saute the mushrooms first, in the Julia Child method.  "DON'T CROWD THE PAN" or they will simply give up their liquid and steam instead of sautéing.

Nigella's Mushroom and Lemon Linguine

8 oz Cremini Mushrooms; Sliced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little extra for sauteing the mushrooms
2 tsp Kosher salt
Small clove garlic, Grated
1 Large Lemon, zested and juiced (or 1 1/2 medium or small lemons)
4 sprigs fresh thyme; leaves stripped off; about 3/4 tsp (I highly recommend Lemon Thyme)
16 oz Linguine
About 1/2 cup freshly chopped Italian Parsley
4 TB Parmigiano-Reggiano freshly grated
Freshly ground black pepper

Select mushrooms that do not have exposed gills, this means they are getting old. (well, unless you are buying "Portobellos")

Slice the mushrooms and begin heating olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. (or you can skip the sautéing and do this Nigella's way)

Add the mushrooms to the hot oil, not quite covering the bottom of the pan (you will have to work in batches)

Allow each side to brown lightly using a pair of tongs to turn the mushrooms over. (yes, I know this will take awhile... Nigella's way was much faster)

Move each completed batch to a small bowl.

Season with Salt, Garlic, Lemon Zest, and Thyme leaves. (I just grated the Garlic on the lemon zester)

Drizzle with strained Lemon Juice.

Chop the Parsley.

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and reserve 1/2 cup of the water.

Drain pasta and place in a warm bowl and pour the olive oil over then toss to coat.

Add the Mushroom mixture and toss.

Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss again.

Add the Parsley and toss 1 more time.

If the sauce seems thick, add the reserved pasta water and toss again.

 Serve immediately.

I must admit that I consumed this dish with great exuberance.  Very light and refreshingly delicious.  Like Summerthyme in a bowl.  YUM!

I noticed, about half way through cooking and snapping pictures, that I had an audience.  LOL



Patti T. said...

I love your audience member! This dish looks so simple but amazing. It will be on my "to try" list. Thank you for all your great recipes and clear instructions.

Unknown said...

I love cooking with lemon. I'm also a huge fan of Nigella....just not quite in the same way as you are!! LMAO!!!
Hey got a new puppy doggy? what a little cutie pie

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I agree with the whole mushroom thing and will be giving this a try with the fried mushrooms. On another note just love your comments on Nigella because I too absolutely love her like really love her and not only because I too cook in my night gown Lol but because of how she describes her food with such rapture, as Nigella would say "these Voluptuous Beauties" I can only imagine she is describing herself lol Thank you for a very funny post. P.s hope your audience member got to try a sample