Rare: A dish so simple, you could eat it for dinner once a week, but also elegant and memorable enough to serve at a dinner party.
Rare, but it exists. That cookbook I was telling you about the other day? That cookbook is full of cases like this.
I could eat this pasta every week. I could probably eat it more than every week. It’s just *so* easy to make. Roast mushrooms, make pasta, purée chives in olive oil. A perfect example of how food doesn’t have to be complicated to be impressively delicious.
It’s also incredibly versatile. Serve it as a main, serve it as a side. Serve it room temperature, serve it hot. Oh, and I didn’t mention that it’s vegetarian?
Cremini Mushrooms with Chive Pasta
From High Heat by Wendy Malouf and Melissa Clark
- Coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, wiped clean
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup roughly snipped fresh chives (2-3 bunches)
- 1 pound spaghetti or angel hair pasta
- Freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese for serving
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. Toss the mushrooms in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and generous pinches of salt and pepper. Spread the mushrooms in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning once, until tender and browned, about 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut the mushrooms into quarters. In a food processor or blender, combine the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, the chives, and generous pinches of salt and pepper. Process until pureéd.
Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking water if you plan to serve the pasta hot. In a larger serving bowl, toss the pasta with the mushrooms and chive oil. If serving immediately, toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved cooking water. Otherwise, let the pasta cool to room temperature. Serve with the cheese on the side.
Serves 3 or 4 as a main, 6 as a side.