This recipe is from The Essential New York Times Cookbook, which the November 2001 issue of Cooking Light listed as one of the Top 9 General Cookbooks for the last 25 years. This recipe called for cremini mushrooms, but the Veggie dad (who does the bulk of our shopping) was unable to find them in our store so we substituted with baby bella mushrooms. I also decreased the amount of oil in the recipe and increased the amount of pasta water. This recipe has you saute the mushrooms on high heat. Every fiber of my being said: NO, but I did it and it worked out well. According to the notes for the recipes cooking the mushrooms on high heat prevents the mushrooms from stewing and later making the pasta sauce soggy. Just keep moving them in the pan so that they don't burn.
1 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds baby bella or cremini mushrooms
freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups tightly packed baby arugula, washed
3/4 pound soft goat cheese, at room temperature
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the spaghetti and cook until al dente; about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, warm 1 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.Add half the mushrooms, season with pepper and cook, stirring often for about 3 minutes. Add half of the garlic and cook until fragrant, and the mushrooms have softened, an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms and garlic to bowl and keep them warm. Repeat the process with the remaining mushrooms, garlic and another 1 tablespoon of oil.
- When the spaghetti is cooked, reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the pot and add the sauteed mushrooms, arugula, goat cheese, 1/4 cup olive oil, and enough pasta water to achieve the desired consistency with the sauce. Toss the pasta gently until the cheese is melted and the arugula is wilted. Serve warm and enjoy.