Shiitake

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This beautiful mushroom along with others came from Zehr & Sons Mushroom Growers via the Saratoga Farmers Market. I used them the other night when my son came home from college. I sliced them, sautéed them with olive oil, garlic and butter, added wilted spinach and Strascinati pasta (orecchiette-like) that had been cold-soaked in saffron water for three hours and finished in the pan. The dish was topped with fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. It was simple and delicious.

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4 Responses to Shiitake

  1. Claudia says:

    Sounds really good. Was pasta the soft kind? How did you do that cold soak?

  2. John Sconzo says:

    No, Claudia, the pasta was dried. The technique is borrowed from Ideas in Food, but I did not follow a strict protocol. Basically I put the pasta in a freezer bag, covered it in water and added a couple of pinches of saffron. I removed most of the air from the bag and let it sit in the refrigerator for 3.5 hours. As I cooked the mushrooms and spinach, I added the pasta and a fair amount of saffron water and let cook through. As the water was absorbed I added more until the dish was ready at which time I added the grated parm served. The dish was very good with a nice creamy consistency. The pasta had nice saffron flavor and color, though Im not sure that the process, in this case,added anything over conventional pasta cookery.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Oh, that sounds so good. But I think your simple is a bit less simple than most. 🙂

  4. John Sconzo says:

    Thanks, Jen. It really was simple, though, in that there were no difficult techniques used and putting the dish together was really straight forward. The cold soaking pasta, was just that. It is unusual, but it is still simple. Conventional pasta cooking, adding the crushed saffron to the cooking water would work just as well.

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