Preparation time: about 30 minutes
This pasta dish is a vegetarian’s delight. Chives, typically used as a garnish, add a nice herbaceous and bright flavor to the pasta. Cremini mushrooms also called baby Portobello or simply Italian brown mushrooms add the meatier touch.
Do not prepare chive pesto in advance. Chives will lose their emerald green color and turn dull green.
- 2 lbs (900 g) Cremini mushrooms
- 1 cup (240 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped chives
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 lb (340 g) tagliatelle or fettuccine
- Parmesan cheese
Clean mushrooms and slice off stalk ends. If mushrooms are large, quarter them. Set aside in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper, and salt. Toss mushrooms in it so that they are well coated with oil.
Preheat oven to 475°F/245°C
Place mushrooms in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for about 10 minutes, or until they are browned. Turn mushrooms once, after 5 minutes baking. Remove mushrooms from oven and set aside.
Bring water to a boil, add salt and pasta. Cook according to package instructions or “al dente”.
Close to the end of pasta cooking time, start making the chive pesto. Put remaining 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper, 1 3/4 cup chopped chives, lemon juice, salt and black pepper in a food chopper or blender. Purée it just until emulsified. Do not liquidize it too much. Pesto should have some coarse texture.
Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup (120 ml) of cooking liquid. Return pasta to cooking pot, add the roasted mushrooms, chives pesto, and some cooking liquid if necessary. Coat pasta gently with the chives oil and warm it up a bit if necessary. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped chives and Parmesan. Serve on warmed plates.