I love mushrooms, and over the years I have bucked the trend that tells you to saute them with loads of room in a near-empty pan. Instead, I crowd the pan, cook them for ages, and add a little sugar – as I once saw Nick Nairn do – and then season them up and create a sauce. Every time I have delicious mushrooms.
Make this vegan by using vegan mayonnaise, adding extra pasta water and omitting the cream.
For the pasta, you can mix in alphabet pasta like I’ve done here or add homemade noodles or gnocchi.
If you don’t prefer pasta, the sauce pairs well with mashed potato and a little grated cucumber to respond to the saltiness. Add steamed brussels sprouts and beans at the end to extend the offering. Not much is off limits.
- 500–700 g fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly. I like button mushrooms with a mix of whatever’s on special – shimeji, enoki, oyster, king brown – whatever you have or like, toss it in
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- fresh or dried rosemary to taste – I use about a tsp of dried or a tbsp fresh
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup pasta water
- 2 tbsp whole egg mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup cream
- 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 300 g cooked pasta
- a few generous handfuls of washed spinach leaves
- Cook the alphabet pasta (or any pasta) in loads of salty water. Keep 1/4 cup pasta water aside, and then drain the pasta.
- Put a large pan on a high heat. Add oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle sugar over the top.
- Let the mushrooms cook on high for around 10–12 minutes, tossing every minute or so. If they are too wet, don’t worry, the water evaporates if you have the courage to continue.
- When the mushrooms begin to colour, resist the urge to create the sauce right away – give it just that little bit longer and you’ll be rewarded with flavour. Turn the heat to low.
- Add tamari, pasta water, mayonnaise, cream and lemon juice, and stir through. Taste and adjust, adding a bit of sugar, lemon juice or tamari if the balance isn’t quite right.
- Put alphabet pasta on top of your mushroom sauce in the pan, and then top that with a few handfuls of washed baby spinach. Stir to combine.
- Serve it up and eat heartily. Remember to include your favourite drink and pal. Enjoy!