Meatless Monday: Linguine with lemon, garlic and thyme mushrooms


I’m pretty sure that I’m in love with Nigella Lawson.

In no particular order, she’s stunningly beautiful, completely comfortable in her own skin, thinks that a three-course meal is a suitable late-night snack, a world-renowned cook and author, British, snarky and shares a belief that cooking is therapeutic. She’s currently on an American book tour, though I’m not going to see her. I’m playing hard to get and waiting for her to come to me.

Delusions aside, tonight’s Meatless Monday dinner was a very quick and easy pasta and mushrooms dish she created. The mushrooms are presented raw, so cleaning them is essential. Because they aren’t sauteed in anything, they absorb the flavor of the lemon, garlic and thyme that they sit in while waiting to be mixed with the pasta. It’s quite a nice combination of texture and flavor.

IMG_2039WHAT WORKED: The only added fat in this dish is from the parmesan cheese and oil, which could be eliminated if you want. In fact, the only fat content you cannot avoid is from the pasta, though you could probably get away with a fat-free pasta (even though that tastes pretty disgusting).

WHAT DIDN’T: The parsley was annoying, though I probably could have chopped it finer. Either way you look at it, parsley is annoying.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: We didn’t talk much about dinner. As a matter of fact, we didn’t talk much at all. The Kid dominated the conversation, as toddlers are known to do.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Absolutely, but probably sans parsley.

Quick note: I’m going to copy the recipe from Nigella Lawson’s website as it was written. The success of her conversational writing style is amazing.

IMG_2040Linguine with lemon, garlic and thyme mushrooms
By Nigella Lawson

  • 8 oz. chestnut mushrooms (NOTE: Nigella says to use button if chestnut are unavailable)
  • 2.81 oz. fluid ounces extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. maldon salt (or 1 1/2 tsp. table salt)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 tsp. thyme leaves
  • 1 lb. linguine
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 pinch of black pepper, freshly ground

IMG_2037Slice the mushrooms finely, and put in a large bowl with the oil, salt, crushed garlic, lemon juice and zest, and marvellously scented thyme leaves. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions and drain loosely, retaining some water. Quickly put the drained pasta into the bowl with the mushroom mixture. Toss everything together well, then add the chopped parsley, grated cheese and pepper to taste, before tossing again, and eat with joy in your heart.

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