STEPS 5 INGREDIENTS 9 TIME 25 MINS Suitable for budding cooks of all levels, this easy spaghetti recipe combines yummy porcini mushrooms (which even ‘shroom-haters’ usually love), with your choice of earthy walnut or moreish pistachio nuts, charismatic saffron and an optional chili kick.
Did I mention this easy spaghetti recipe qualifies as ‘super simple’?
Well it is… it takes just 25 minutes to make – and unless you start frying and then fall asleep, it’s virtually impossible to mess this baby up. (If it were I would have – just ask my wife Laura…!)
The first time I enjoyed this mushroom pasta recipe (known in Italian as ‘pasta al funghi’), it just became an instant favourite. I hope you’ll feel the same way. Let’s try it and see…
Ingredients: (For a printable PDF shopping list click here, or right-click this link and choose ‘Save target/link as’ to save the list for later.)
200g/7oz packet spaghetti or linguini (or fresh vegan pasta works great!)
50g/1.75oz crushed walnut pieces /pistachios
10-15g/0.5oz bag of saffron powder
50g/1.75oz fresh or dried porcini mushrooms
Half a clove of garlic
2 ‘sprigs’ (small 10cm stalks) of parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
Optional: dried chili leaves
Sharp chopping knife
STEP 1 – First let’s get prepared:
– De-shell the nuts and chop these finely.
Tip: Rocking a big chopping knife backwards and forwards over the nuts works for me.
– Peel the garlic clove, chop off its ends, and cut your half into very thin slices.
– If using fresh porcini mushrooms… cut off just the very end of the stalks. Clean the remainder with kitchen paper (not paper, or they go soggy). Chop long-ways into 1/2cm slices.
If using dried porcini mushrooms… these should already be sliced. Drop them in a bowl of warm tap water for 15 mins (where they will expand), then take them out and rinse.
– Wash the parsley and remove its main stalks.
– Boil up a kettle of water and put this in the large pan on a low heat. Throw in a handful of salt.
STEP 2 – Using a pan of olive oil on a medium heat hob, fry the garlic until it browns (4-5 mins).
Turn down to a low heat and add: mushrooms, torn parsley leaves, 2 teaspoons of salt and a pinch of pepper.
Fry gently until the mushrooms soften and shrivel (see pic). Allow around 5-6 minutes for this.
STEP 3 – Add the chopped nuts and saffron powder. Mix well and fry for a further 2 mins. Then take off the heat.
STEP 4 – Crank up your pasta water and when boiling throw in the spaghetti or linguini.
Cook as per its packet’s instructions (usually 10 mins).
Note: In future, you can speed up this recipe further by starting to cook the pasta at the same time as frying the mushrooms.
STEP 5 – When the pasta is ready, drain and drop it in the frying pan.
On a medium heat hob, stir for 2 more minutes – until the spaghetti is covered in oil. Also add any dried chili you like.
Tip: If there isn’t enough oil to cover all the pasta, drizzle in just a little more cold.
As easy spaghetti recipes go, I reckon this one takes some beating.
To serve: My Italian family enjoys this dish on its own, although it is handy to have some softish bread around for oil and nut ‘mop-up’!
Did you enjoy this pasta con funghi?
Then why not try…
• Spaghetti bolognese – the daddy of all Italian pasta meals, offered here in authentic meat-focused form
• More vegetarian pasta recipes – healthy, nutritious and totally flesh-free
• This spaghetti, tuna and anchovy recipe – a healthy and delicious way to use up any remaining long pasta.