Alright, kids. We’re officially into cold weather season – I’ve hung up my 10 coats (all necessary for various levels of coldness). Here in Canada, we try to squeeze as much outside time as we can before we hibernate in our igloos during -30C cold spells or ice storms. Outside time means choosing to sit on a patio for lunch in a coat while trying not to catch pneumonia, picking more apples than we know what to do with or in my case, heading to my nearest forest with my handy ‘shroom hunting pig. But mostly, we like to wrap ourselves in a million blankets and binge watch netflix. I guess I shouldn’t generalize though. What I meant to say: I like to binge watch netflix while simultaneously binge eating a bowl of carbs. Anyways, whatever your choice of colder weather activity is, this pasta is perfect the post-hike/hunt/dog-sled/forage meal (or during said netflix binge). We should all boycott “netflix and chill” for “netflix and pasta”. Yay? Nay? Who’s with me?
Now moving on to another extremely important topic: mushrooms. Let’s talk about MUSHROOMS!!!! shrooms. little mushies. Aka the best food ever. How is it that funghi tastes so mother-effing yummy? I could probably easily crush a whole forest full of mushrooms. If tuna is the chicken of the sea, then mushrooms are the gushers of the dirt (because they’re bursting with flavour). If life is a box of chocolates, then I’d rather have a box of the shrooms. If alligator tastes like chicken, then mushrooms taste straight-up delicious. If life gives you lemonade, JUST EAT SOME MUSHROOMS.
So mushroom lovers, this pasta is for you. Non-mushroom lovers, please eat mushrooms until you like them. They say anything is possible if you just believe. I believe in you. You will like mushrooms one day (I’m looking at you, Natalie).
Creamy Mushroom Miso Pasta
Serves 4 generously
1 box linguine
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
10 cups assorted mushrooms, sliced (I used 3 packs of black oysters, king oysters and shitake)
1/2 cup sake, Japanese cooking wine or white wine (optional)
3 tbsp flour
1 3/4 cup chicken broth or milk (I used a combination of both)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp mustard
3 tbsp miso paste
Ground black pepper
Chopped parsley and grated Parmesan for garnish
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a deep saute pan. Saute garlic and onions for a few minutes until onions are soft. Add mushrooms and fry until they start to release liquid – the timing for this will depend on the type of mushroom and how it thinly they are sliced. Saute mushrooms until soft and most of the liquid is evaporated. Add the sake and let it bubble away until most of it is boiled off as well. Sprinkle the flour over the mushroom and stir so it evenly coats the mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk or chicken broth while continuously stirring. Stir mustard and thyme into sauce. Once the sauce is bubbling, lower the heat and let it simmer until thickened.
In the meantime, bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta and cook pasta according to package directions. Ladle some of the sauce into a small bowl with the miso paste and stir until smooth. Once the mushroom sauce is thickened, stir in the miso paste mixture. Season with pepper. I leave out the salt because I think the miso is salty enough. Add cooked pasta and parsley directly into the sauce, making sure not to get too much pasta water in the sauce. Toss to coat pasta with sauce. Dish out into bowls and serve! With parmesean if desired.