Spaghetti with Shiitakes, Parmesan, and Pepper

Food & Wine
Here's a great weeknight pasta that highlights one of our favorite mushrooms and takes only minutes to prepare. The combination of earthy shiitakes and sharp cheese is perfect with lots of black pepper.
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Ingredients

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4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps cut into thin slices
3/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
3/4 pound spaghetti
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

Preparation

1. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, and the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced to about 1 cup, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the spaghetti until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain. Toss the spaghetti with the mushroom sauce, the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the Parmesan. Serve with more cheese.

Variation: Add a couple of tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, tarragon, thyme, or parsley, to the spaghetti along with the Parmesan.

Wine Recommendation: The mix of flavors opens the door to all sorts of wine choices. To match the earthiness of the mushrooms, try a white based on the chardonnay grape; a Bourgogne Blanc from France would be particularly good. To echo the black pepper, look for a red with a similar flavor, such as a dolcetto from Italy or a petite sirah from California.

Created date

June 2004