Sauteed oyster mushrooms with angel hair pasta

By Wendy Andresen | Dec 03, 2019
Photo by: Wendy Andresen Do extensive research on the types of mushrooms that can be foraged for consuming.

I hit the jackpot! One day while out on my morning run, I came across a tree loaded with oyster mushrooms, clearly overlooked by passersby and ripe for picking. I harvested them carefully and toted them home with a gleeful smile, knowing we were in for a real treat. I’ve seen many wild mushroom recipes calling for fancy ingredients such as cream and butter, but when you have such a fine product to start with, it seems a shame to overdress it rather than let the mushrooms be the star.

As a cautionary note, it is inadvisable to eat any wild mushrooms unless you are positive about their identity, and even then, eat only a bite or two the first time and always cook them first. No, you can’t use a silver spoon to identify the toxic species. Never try to identify mushrooms found as a single specimen, as they can be quite atypical and the color of the cap can vary dramatically.

Ingredients:

7 ounces angel hair pasta (such as Dreamfield’s)

1/4 cup pignoli nuts

2 cloves garlic, minced, divided

3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

12 ounces oyster mushrooms

1/4 cup dry vermouth

3 scallions, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Store the oyster mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator. When ready to cook them, clean them well and cut off any hard parts near the base. Tear them into thin strips along the length of the gills and set them aside in a bowl.

2. Bring a cauldron of water to a rapid boil and cook the angel hair pasta according to the package directions and to your taste. Drain well.

3. In a sauté pan, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil until it shimmers. Add the pignoli nuts and 1 Tbsp. garlic and stir constantly until they develop a little color. Then add the pasta to the pan, along with salt and pepper to taste, and stir until the pasta is well coated with oil and heated through. Remove it to a serving bowl and keep it warm.

4. In the same sauté pan (no need to clean it first), add the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil and heat over medium until it shimmers. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and a little salt and pepper and cook and stir over medium heat until the mushrooms are tender and have given off their juices, about 7 to 10 minutes. They may brown a bit too. If some bits have stuck to the pan, you may add vermouth to deglaze the pan and loosen them.

5. Place the mushrooms and any juice on top of the pasta and garnish with the sliced scallions.

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