If you've never enhanced a pasta sauce with the liquid you cooked the pasta in, I highly recommend that you do so tonight. While the pasta boils, the water becomes starchy and flavorful. When tossed with cooked pasta, vegetables, and seasonings, the water clings to the pasta forming a creamy texture. In addition to the cooking liquid, this particular pasta dish is dressed up with mushrooms, basil, and lemon zest. To get the simple-yet-divine recipe,
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (1 1/2 cups)
2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
8 oz. whole-wheat fettuccine or spaghetti (see ingredient note)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 oz.)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil for cooking pasta.
- Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over low heat.
- Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 9 to 11 minutes or according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
- Add the pasta, the reserved cooking liquid, Parmesan, and 1/4 cup basil to the mushrooms in the skillet; toss to coat well. Serve immediately, garnished with remaining basil.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 311 calories; 11 g fat (3 g sat, 6 g mono); 9 mg cholesterol; 44 g carbohydrate; 13 g protein; 8 g fiber; 307 mg sodium. Fiber (28 percent daily value), Calcium (14 percent daily value).