In an attempt to try and keep my meals a bit on the ‘lighter side’ – since eating a large calorie-loaded meal often gives me what I call ‘the sweats and regrets’ in this hot weather – I have recently turned to more vegetarian options for my weekly dinners. In one of my latest Instagram posts I claimed I only wanted to eat salads for the rest of summer. Well, let me tell you, that feeling didn’t last for too long. Despite the weather, the glutton in me still craves a large dose of carbs in the form of bread, rice, or pasta… and, as was the case recently: mushrooms.
When you think of a nice summer meal, a plate full of linguine and chanterelle mushrooms is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. For me, though, the scorching heat of Greek summer cannot keep me from enjoying this particular hearty mushroom and pasta dish. While mushrooms are often associated with autumn, creamy soups, and warming stews, there are so many lovely mushrooms you can find in spring and summer as well!
Back home in the Netherlands chanterelle mushrooms technically are available all-year-round, but they are still quite rare to find at a regular supermarket, or market. It’s no surprise, then, that I am always overjoyed when I see lovely yellow and orange chanterelle mushrooms at the market… no matter what time of year it is! Not only are they beautiful, there’s just something about their meaty consistency, mild peppery flavor and slightly sweet smell that I really can’t resist!
But how to make a filling mushroom dish fit for hot weather? The sauce and ingredients in this dish are relatively light with lots of zesty lemon, fresh herbs, and a mild Manchego cheese (and only a wee bit of butter and wine. Shhh!). To add a bit of extra crunch, color and freshness I sprinkled some little sprouts on top as well.
This time, I found a mix of alfalfa sprouts, red cabbage sprouts and broccoli sprouts, but you can use any kind of tiny sprout, or microgreen… radish sprouts and leek sprouts work great with this dish as well. Of course, if you are unable to find sprouts, or simply can’t be bothered with cute, tiny vegetables you can simply add some arugula, or omit the greens altogether.
Note: Strictly speaking Manchego cheese is not vegetarian, since it is traditionally produced using rennet. If you follow a strictly vegetarian diet, replace it by a vegetarian-friendly option.
Linguine with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Manchego, and Sprouts
- 400g linguine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 350g chanterelle mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 150ml dry white wine
- Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Small bunch of chives, finely chopped
- 30g butter
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 150g Manchego cheese, finely grated
- 60g sprouts, or micro greens (ex. alfalfa, red cabbage sprouts, broccoli sprouts)
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Clean the dirt off the chanterelle mushrooms with a soft brush. If possible, try to clean them without using any water. Roughly chop the chanterelles after cleaning and set them aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about a tablespoon of salt and the linguine. Cook al dente according to the directions on the package.
- While your pasta is boiling, place a large saucepan over medium to high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, finely chopped garlic cloves and roughly chopped mushrooms. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cook and stir for about 3 - 4 minutes until mushrooms soften and are cooked through.
- Add the white wine, chopped flat leaf parsley, and chopped chives to the saucepan and cook for about 2 – 3 minutes until the alcohol has evaporated and the liquid has reduced slightly, be careful not to let the mixture get too dry.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the 30g of butter and the juice and zest of one lemon. Stir until butter has melted and fully incorporated with the sauce.
- Add your cooked linguine and two-thirds of the grated Manchego cheese to the saucepan and stir until the sauce and cheese have coated all the strands of pasta. If there’s not enough sauce to coat all of the linguine in a thin coating, add another knob of butter, or tablespoon of olive oil.
- Divide linguine over your plates, sprinkle- or grate on the remaining Manchego cheese and top pasta with your sprouts, or microgreens. Serve immediately.