I was a picky child and there really wasn’t too much that I liked. Tomatoes, onions, zucchini and mushrooms were all off the list. Strangely enough, I loved spinach, broccoli and turnips. Maybe I was less of a picky child and more of one with distinct tastes. I remember once being cornered by my aunt who shoved an entire raw mushroom covered in dip (I was not a fan of dips either) right into my mouth. I immediately burst into tears and ran to the bathroom where the whole thing ended up in a napkin and into the garbage. It took me years before I could attempt another try at mushrooms or dip.
But then I discovered that if you threw enough butter and garlic at a mushroom it became really freaking delicious. So enter this pasta dish which started off as a side dish and turned into the main course. A really, really rich and buttery main course and perfect for serving for company. You definitely want to serve a good, bitter green salad alongside to help cut the richness. It can definitely be treated as a lighter dish by cutting in half the butter and olive oil and subbing in some chicken stock instead to make something a little less dangerous too. Options!
Sure the butter and garlic play well here, but it’s those tangy, salty capers that add a good zing! Don’t leave them out. I also really loved the pasta shape that I used. Kind of a square, wavy little number that was pillowy and perfect. My pasta bag was all in Italian so I couldn’t distinguish anything from the packaging. But if you know what kind of pasta this is, please let me know in the comments. I got it at the Santa Barbara market on Commercial Drive in Vancouver in case you’re local and want to pick some up.
roasted garlicky mushrooms with pasta
(adapted from Gourmet)
1 lb mushrooms, I used sliced baby bellas, but cremini or buttons would work well too
2 T capers
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 T olive oil
2 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 – 3/4 lb short pasta
handful of parsley (optional)
Preheat oven to 450F with rack in the middle.
Toss mushrooms with capers, garlic, oil, and a good grind of pepper in a 2-qt shallow baking dish. Or split them up into 2 1 quart baking dishes like I did. Top with butter and roast, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, get pasta going according to package directions, drain reserving 2 tablespoons of cooking water. Add cooking water, mushrooms and lemon juice and toss well. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley, if using. Serves 4-6 people.