Vegetarian Tonight: Pasta With Brown Butter Mushrooms

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We're big fans of Alison Roman's latest collection of recipes, an ode to dining in with emphasis on big flavors (and small commitments). Pick up a copy and rejuvenate your home cooking game from every angle. This recipe for pasta with brown butter mushrooms is the hearty bowl of comfort food you've been craving. 

This recipe is a prime example of how I think pasta should be eaten. Basically equal parts pasta to whatever's in it — especially when it comes to vegetables, and especially when it comes to mushrooms — plus something crunchy sprinkled over the top (here, toasted buckwheat) and a saucy something (here, raw egg yolks).

Speaking of mushrooms, do you know how many mushroom varieties there are? About four million. Even if that's not true (it's not), I feel like I'm always discovering a new type that makes me glad it's socially acceptable to eat fungus. My favorites are the meatier yet more delicately flavored varieties like oyster, maitake and king trumpet. They contain less water, which not only means less shrinkage, but, more important, higher crisping potential. That said, this recipe works with all types of mushrooms, from the common button to the royal chanterelle, so use what you can find.

Reprinted with permission from Dining In

Vegetarian Tonight: Pasta With Brown Butter Mushrooms
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Alison Roman's recipe for pasta with brown butter mushrooms is the hearty bowl of comfort food you've been craving. Start chopping!
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  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat groats
  • 1 pound whole-wheat pasta (noodles or short shapes both work here)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 pounds your favorite mushroom varieties (such as chanterelle, maitake, oyster, trumpet morel, shiitake, or lobster)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small shallot
  • 2 ounces Parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • 4 large egg yolks
  1. Set a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Toast the buckwheat in a large dry skillet over medium-high heat, shaking the skillet occasionally, until all the grains look toasted and smell really fragrant and nutty, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside (save the skillet).
  3. Cook the pasta in the boiling water to al dente according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta (no need to reserve any pasta water here).
  4. Melt the butter in that large skillet over medium-high heat until it’s foamy and starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the olive oil, garlic, and mushrooms. Toss to coat in the browned butter and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally (or using a wooden spoon to stir), until the mushrooms are properly browned and starting to crisp, 12 to 18 minutes. Depending on the type of mushrooms, this can take a while; for example, frilly maitakes and meaty oyster mushrooms will brown faster than chanterelles or lobster mushrooms, which tend to contain more water.
  5. Add the drained pasta and shallots and toss to coat. Cook another minute or two, just to get everything knowing each other in the skillet. Season with salt and pepper, and divide among four plates or bowls. Top with Parmesan and the toasted buckwheat. Plop an egg yolk down into the center of each plate, breaking it to create a sauce.
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