Friday, April 20, 2012

Linguine and Thyme-Scented Mushrooms - Nigella Lawson


Something happens when you don't watch much TV - you remain clueless about people and things that the world is well versed in. I had heard of Nigella Lawson. I had gathered she was some sort of seductive cook? That she was famous for wrapping her lips around spoons for photographs.

What did I know? I have been amazed since I joined this group of dedicated bloggers working their way through Gourmet's Fifty Women Game-Changers in Food. I have been sequestered in my corner of the Italian cooking world and have paid little mind to new chefs, new faces and current "stars" in the cooking sphere.

Lawson was born to a wealthy and influential family (her father was a Chancellor in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet and her mother was an heiress, a socialite and renown beauty). The family moved a lot during Lawson's teen years and Lawson got into trouble at many of her schools.

"I was difficult, disruptive, good at school work but rude, I suspect and high-strung, she noted.

She did go on to graduate from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford with a degree in medieval and modern languages. There were many curves and detours to the career she has now. I won't list it all but you can find her biography here. Today, she is noted for her cookbooks How to Eat and How to be a Domestic Goddess (among her many) as well as her TV Series Nigella Bites. Compared to Delia Smith, Lawson's cookbooks were noted for being accessible, chatty and a bit cheeky - a definite change from the more matronly approach favored by the current British cooking icon!


I seem to be back with the mushrooms. This is the 3rd time in a row that I've chosen a mushroom recipe from the Gourmet Game-Changers! I am either in an earthy phase or a spore phase. At least I don't dream about them. Apparently, that is bad news.

I was interested in this dish because - more so than ever - my days call for ease and this had it. And it was noted that it could be dressed up for dinner with protein additions (shrimp, tofu, chicken) and except for the pasta - nothing else needed to be cooked! The mushrooms cook in the marinade. As another Gourmet Game Changer notes often, "How easy is that?"

I used it as a side dish because I have been known to eat my weight in pasta when it is the main deal. More so now that I am writing about the North Pole. I come down to dinner cold and in need of carbohydrates as if I spent hours on the ice (I wouldn't last five minutes - or maybe I would last if pasta was promised at the end of the day!)

Linguine with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Mushrooms - serves 6 as a side dish in a nomrla home and 4 in mine
(I changed amounts, find the original recipe here.)
16 ounces chestnut mushrooms - thinly sliced (I used a mix)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Maldon salt (I used sea salt)
1 garlic clove minced (I used more)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves (I used more)
3/4 pound linguine
3/4 cup fresh, minced Italian parsley
2-3 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (I always use more)
freshly ground pepper - to taste


Combine first 6 ingredients. (I whisked the lemon juice into the olive oil first). I did this in the morning to allow the mushrooms to marinate and "cook." Lawson does this as she puts the water for the pasta on - do it as you choose. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain saving 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Toss with the mushrooms mixture adding pasta water if it seems dry. Add the parsley and toss again. Add - or serve separately - the cheese and ground pepper. Serve.

You may of course skip the cheese and go vegan (but please not that I would never, ever skip a chance to play with Parmigiano-Reggiano. It is part of my DNA).

Please check out what the other bloggers are doing for Week 44 of Female Chef Gourmet Game Changers. And if you want to join in the fun, e-mail Mary at  One Perfect Bite. Mary started this delectable journey. 

Susan - The Spice GardenHeather - girlichef,
Miranda - Mangoes and ChutneyJeanette - Healthy Living
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds

46 comments:

bellini said...

I don't think we can ever have enough mushrooms in our lives!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

You can continue to post mushrooms. I can never seem to get enough ideas, although chestnut mushrooms are a new one to me.

We don't watch much television either other than the financial channel and cooking shows. My husband would be glad to tell you about Nigella (smile).
Sam

Pegasuslegend said...

A dish I will never tire of.... just perfect for the summer months too for a lighter dish... these flavors are a big hit on my table anytime... love it!

The Mom Chef said...

I'm a Nigella fan but I can only take her in small doses. She is definitely a game changer, that's for sure. The dishes of hers that I have made have been outstanding. This looks like it ranks up there as well (also being a mushroom fan). Thanks for the recipe!

Jeanette said...

This reminds me of a dish I used to make years ago - will have to try it as I remember it being so easy and delicious.

Tina Bk said...

Nigella is a very talented cook and I am glad you found this recipe in your mushroom phase and a mushroom phase is not a bad place to be. Delicious post and nice to learn a little bit more about Nigella as well! Enjoy the weekend!

Jill said...

I'm so glad to hear that I am not the only one who lives under a rock and doesn't follow the celebrity chefs du jour. This recipe looks delicious and I too love mushrooms. Stay warm!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Such restraint, only 3/4 lb of pasta? I've done that but then regretted it, especially with a dish like this!

Lynda said...

You can post mushrooms anytime you want Claudia-they are just so good.
I'm with you on using more cheese too. This recipe looks like a keeper for sure.

Loveforfood said...

I am always impressed with the photography, the recipes

Balvinder Ubi said...

Fridays are the days when my daughter says I should not cook my usual(indian style) vegetables but something different. And she is lover of mushrooms, Can you believe, she never let me make risotto other than mushroom.
She would love this linguine with thyme scented mushrooms.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

How could you not eat a pound of this? Mushrooms and pasta are a marriage made in Heaven. And Nigella is quite the looker isn't she? I never knew about her background.

Jill Colonna said...

Hehe. Parmegiano part of your DNA? Love it! I normally like my pasta with it, lol. Yep, just like you Claudia. I don't want much TV never mind celebrity cook progs and bit behind. You should have your own Italian cookery show!

Barbara F. said...

This recipe sounds so good, I am making it this weekend! I am intrigued by your blog quest, finding the Mediterranean in Minnesota! As an American of Italian descent, I have evoo and tomato sauce flowing in my veins. I am your newest follower. xo

Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits said...

This sounds delicious. Now I know what I'm making for dinner tonight!

Kathy said...

Boy, does this look scrumptious! This will be making an appearance on my table very soon! Loved your post on Nigella!

Alyce said...

You can never have too many mushrooms...I love them. Hearty, healthy, meaty...filling. Great pasta dish!

Sarah Toasty said...

i recommend you catch one of her shows, my favorite is her banter and when she sneaks into her fridge at night . . . great pick!

Angie's Recipes said...

I love mushrooms...actually just had some broccoli stir-fry with some mushrooms for the dinner. ;-) Love yours too, a very tasty pasta dish.

Cucina49 said...

Oh, Claudia, this looks spectacular! I have a couple of Nigella's cookbooks and love that while yes, she's considered gorgeous, her books have a sense of humor and she's clearly not an idiot. I didn't know much about her, though, so it was fun to read this.

maha said...

luks perfectly done...never feels bore 2 eat...yummy.
Maha

Veronica Gantley said...

I can never have enough mushroom recipes, so post away. What a wonderful recipe. Thanks for sharing with us.

Pranjali said...

Wow...such a lovely dish..very very delicious one...Do visit my blog once in your free time
www.foodydelight.com

Susan Lindquist said...

I would like to add on to Bellini's comment ... I don't think we could possibly have too many mushrooms OR pasta in our lives! This may be an easy dish, but it sure would hit the spot at our little grey cottage!

Heidi {Young Grasshopper} said...

WOW! that sounds amazing :)

Barbara said...

Yummy choice, Claudia. I could wolf down plates of pasta too!
Nigella was fun to discover.

Yelena said...

I love mushrooms and pasta, they are the best together!

Rebecca Subbiah said...

fun recipe and fun to learn more about her

Heather @girlichef.com said...

Mmmm...I love the sound of this. Simple, yet extremely satisfying. And yes, I think it would be far too easy to eat my weight in this ;)

Catherine said...

Dear Claudia, Looks delicious and comforting. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

Lizzy said...

I've only made Nigella's desserts (shocking isn't it? LOL). But this amazing pasta has convinced me I need to make some of her other recipes...this looks fabulous!

Jann said...

A perfect combination~love mushrooms in pasta! Boy does this look delicious!

Lori Lynn said...

This dish sounds great, Claudia, what's not to love about mushrooms and pasta?

I don't know much about Ms. Lawson either, now I am intrigued, gotta go read more.
LL

Wanda..... said...

I promise you, Claudia...I am going to make this tomorrow!

Beth said...

This is the kind of simple and hearty dish that I love.
And I'm with you on Nigella. I didn't really know anything about her until I started reading the posts this week.

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

I love Nigella and I love mushrooms! Her recipes have never disappointed me. Looks delicious. Thyme and mushrooms are perfect together.

Frank said...

I can relate to your situation. I actually don't have TV service at all, only streaming. It really is like living in another world at times…

But I do know about Nigella Lawson, not from TV but from radio and, of course, her books. She has a great feeling for good cooking and eating. One of the few 'celebrity chefs' that I actually enjoy listening to!

Reeni said...

I think I ate my weight in pasta last night! I'm glad I'm not the only one. I can't find her on Food Network anymore which is disappointing - she has a comforting, soothing way about her that I love. Once again you have me wishing I could eat mushrooms - it's more of a texture thing than flavor.

Monet said...

I can also relate! We don't own a TV, so I miss out on a lot! But I'm sure glad I have the internet...this looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing. Your post has whetted my appetite, and now I need to get creative and make dinner. I hope you have a wonderful start to your week!

beti said...

I love her recipes, for me they are great! and I'm pretty amazed byt the way that your linguini looks!

Mary said...

This really sounds delicious. It is one of her best recipes and I love the way it looks. She is an interesting woman. I hope you had a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

Ola said...

I never watched her in TV but I do like her books


Life and travelling
Cooking

BeetleBuggy said...

I love the way Nigella cooks...gives me more confidence than watching other cooks/chefs cook on television. You've picked a lovely recipe and I'm usually battling off recipes that involve mushrooms because I seem to have an affinity towards them too. What to do, I love mushrooms!

Martha@ Simple Nourished Living said...

Keep the mushroom recipes coming as far as I'm concerned! Love the simplicity of this pasta dish. Can't wait to try it.

FOODESSA said...

Up until two years ago, I had resisted bringing cable into our home. Now, Hubby and I are slightly hooked on a few segments of the food network. Claudia, you're not alone in the non-awareness of the multitude of celebrity chefs mushrooming out there ;o)
Speaking of mushrooms...I'd pick many of the same dishes you did...with pasta anytime of the week of course!

Ciao for now my dear friend.
Have a fabulous week,
Claudia

sweetsamsations said...

oh gosh.. That looks so yummy!! What a delicious pasta! I'm in love with mushrooms and pasta! They're just made for each other... :D