Sunday, 12 January 2014

Oyster mushrooms

Oyster mushrooms (pleurotus) are very easy to find (at least in Italy) because they are widely cultivated and you can buy them all the year. (and of course they are safe to eat!)

I usually cook them in the oven: I clean them, cut the stems off and put them in a baking pan, dress with salt and extra virgin olive oil, and cook, covered with foil, until soft (180°C  for half an hour/45 min.)
They can also be grilled, and then served with olive oil, salt and finely cut parsley

Today, I decided to use the whole of them, and make a dressing for my pasta. It can be cooked in advance, and warmed up when your pasta is ready.

Ingredients for 4 people:
500 grs / 1lb. of oyster mushrooms
1 clove garlic
2-3 table spoons chopped parsley
Extra virgin olive oil

How to:

1)       Clean the mushrooms by gently removing all soil residue with a wet cloth.
2)       Cut the stems in very small pieces and the wider mushrooms into pieces.
3)       Put 5 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan over the medium heat, add the garlic and let it fry for few minutes, until blond and soft.

4)               Add only the stems in the pan and let them cook for at least 10 minutes, the add all the mushrooms, salt and let it cook over the high hit for 10/15 minutes. They will dry a bit and reduce their volume. Remove the garlic. Put a lid on the pan and let it cook for an other 5 minutes, or until soft.

          5)    Add the parsley and switch the gas off. Put the lid again on the pan.

Now you need some nice fresh pappardelle or tagliatelle (but bought ones can be a quicker solution).

Boil the pasta in salted water as long as stated on the packaging, drain it “al dente” in a colander and pour it in the pan with the sauce. Mix it well without braking them and serve immediately.

If you have some mushrooms left, why don’t try them on a crostino?

Cut some slices of rustic bread, grill it until light brown, put a little bit of salt, and a spoon of mushrooms. Serve as a warm appetiser!

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