The whole Northeast is prepping for a gigantic wallop of a snowstorm, so, naturally, Target was a madhouse yesterday. Think holiday-sized crowds grabbing at end caps filled with water and snack foods (Super Bowl fare works well in blizzards, too, FYI), filling baskets with enough flashlights and peanut butter to last well into next week. Jared and I did get a good laugh watching all those carts filled with shovels and antifreeze gliding past the gigantic swimsuit section at the front of the store. Because nothing goes together like swimsuits and January, right? Actually, come to think of it, having 30 inches of snow on the ground probably does get people dreaming of warmer days ahead. Target, you sly dog.
It’s been a bit of a chaotic hustle and bustle around here with all the workday doings and snow day prepping, so this whole quick-meals-that-taste-good thing has been even more important than usual. Truth be told, speed hasn’t always been a huge factor for me when it comes to dinner. I work from home, so prepping things throughout the day usually isn’t a big deal. But the busier our days get (aka Bear is crawling now, so if he’s awake, he’s on a solid quest for lamps and computer cords), the more I’m appreciating these fast meals that fill us up and still taste great (if you haven’t tried the bean and corn tacos from last week, give them a go — they’re a fast-dinner winner!).
This entire pasta dish basically comes together in the time it takes to boil the linguine. The recipe actually works with even less prep work; instead of sautéing the mushrooms ahead of time, just let the uncooked, thinly sliced mushrooms marinate in the olive oil/salt mixture while the pasta cooks, and the heat from the cooked pasta will wilt the mushrooms just enough. I’ve adapted the dish just slightly, though, to suit our toddler’s taste buds. She’s good with mushrooms (really, she’s good with just about anything mixed with pasta), but she’s better if they’re more on the cooked side. Hey, I’m just happy I have a 3-year-old eating mushrooms!
Linguine with Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Mushrooms
Adapted slightly from Nigella Express
- 8 ounces finely sliced cremini or button mushrooms
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Maldon or kosher salt or 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped to give 1 teaspoon leaves
- 1 pound linguine or other pasta shape
- 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped, to give ½ cup
- 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the thinly sliced mushrooms, and sauté just until the mushrooms begin to soften. Add the garlic for the final 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining olive oil, salt, lemon juice and zest and thyme leaves. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and give everything a good toss.
In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the package instructions, and drain it loosely, retaining some water. Quickly put the pasta into the bowl with the mushroom mixture.
Toss everything together well. Add the parsley, cheese and pepper, and then toss everything again. Enjoy!
Right now it’s looking like Boston is right in the middle of the biggest snowfall totals, so we’ll see how things are shaping up tomorrow at this time. We baked two loaves of bread yesterday, and I have two more in the works today, so I figure if we lose power for a bit, we can happily nosh on homemade bread and peanut butter until we’re able to dig out.
Stay safe and warm out there!