This pasta is light and refreshing with the bright flavors of garlic and lemon. Meaty oyster mushrooms add a savory note and heartiness to the dish while spinach keeps it fresh and colorful. Orecchiette pasta works well in this recipe, but feel free to substitute any pasta shape, or variety, such as whole wheat or gluten-free.
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
14 ounces oyster mushrooms, chopped
6 ounce bag fresh spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
1 pound orecchiette pasta, cooked according the package directions
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Shaved Parmesan for serving, optional
Pour ¼ cup of the olive oil in a small saucepan and heat until warm over low heat, about 2 minutes. Only warm the oil, do not allow it to bubble or simmer. Remove from the heat and add the garlic cloves. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, until they become tender and liquid becomes visible in the pan. Add half of the spinach and cook for 2 more minutes, until wilted.
Stir in the pasta and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining spinach. It will wilt only slightly. Next, discard the garlic cloves and pour the oil over the pasta. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss all ingredients to mix well.
Serve warm, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.