This easy pasta comes together in the time it takes to boil a pot of spaghetti, and yet it's rich, nutty, and loaded with umami. Although this is vegetarian, you can add protein by sauteing some bacon, shrimp, or chicken before the mushrooms and transferring them into a bowl while you brown the mushrooms. For some variations, try mixing a little yuzu gosho into the sauce or sprinkling the finished pasta with some thin strips of nori.
- 300 grams (11 oz) mushrooms, like enoki, maitake, or shiitake
- 225 grams (8 oz) spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 extra-large clove garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Chopped parsley or scallions for garnish
- Boil the pasta using just enough salted water to submerge the pasta. The idea is to create starchy pasta water we can use to emulsify the sauce.
- Once the pasta is going, trim the mushrooms and slice or shred them into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and saute the garlic with the olive oil until it's fragrant and just starting to soften. Add the mushrooms and saute until they're wilted and beginning to brown.
- When the pasta is almost done and the mushrooms have browned, melt the butter into the mushrooms. Add the soy sauce and a scoop of starchy pasta water. Mix this vigorously to emulsify the butter with the liquids.
- When the pasta is done, transfer it to the pan with the mushrooms using tongs or a slotted spoon and toss to coat evenly with the sauce; if the pasta starts getting dry, add in some more pasta water.
- Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.