I was trying to think of what to make for me and my boyfriend the other night for dinner. I asked him if he had any special requests and he said mushrooms. I was in the mood for pasta so I did a little brainstorming and this orecchiette with mushrooms and snap peas was born.
For those of you unfamiliar with orecchiette, it’s little pasta in the shape of ears. Orecchiette means “little ears” in Italian so the name is fitting. (Check out this story I wrote a little while ago for more wacky Italian pasta names.)
ANYWAY. This pasta is super easy to make and therefore deceptively impressive. The most difficult part is chopping up the onions and the mushrooms. I hate chopping so this felt a little like torture but I tried to talk myself through it.
It was worth the effort in the end. The pasta has sautéd onions, shiitake and portobello mushrooms, and snap peas, mixed in al dente orecchiette, pasta water, and Parmesan cheese. The pasta water and Parmesan cheese form a sauce that’s strong enough to give the dish flavor but light enough to let the onions, mushrooms, and snap peas shine. I’d recommend adding even more snap peas if you want more green in the dish.
This pasta makes a great weeknight dinner. It comes together quickly and the leftovers taste great, so you can bring it the next day for lunch. I left the little that was left with my boyfriend and I’m sure it’s all gone by now.
Here’s a song to get you started on your pasta-making journey.
Orecchiette with Mushrooms and Sugar Snap Peas
16 oz (one box) orecchiette pasta
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup minced red onion
1 cup stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 large portobello cap, diced
1 1/2 cups sugar snap or snow peas, strings removed
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper for serving
Cook the orecchiette according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water, and place in a big bowl.
In the meantime, cook the toppings. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the minced onion and cook for a minute. Then add the mushrooms and sauté for another four to five minutes. Add the snap peas and cook for another few minutes, or until the peas soften.
Add the vegetables to the bowl with the pasta. Mix in the cheese and some of the reserved pasta water, adding more water to thin out the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Enjoy!