You guys, this easy pasta recipe is SOO good! Shiitake mushroom pasta with lemon butter sauce, honey yogurt and fried capers combines the homey comfort of buttered pasta with the elegance of wild shiitake mushrooms and creamy sweet yogurt sauce. It is a fantastic dish to make to impress your dinner party guests, or to just enjoy as a delicious weeknight dinner.
What Does This Shiitake Mushroom Pasta Dish Taste Like?
Heaven. No, in all honesty it is one of the best pasta dishes that I have made at home in a while. And other than the shiitake mushrooms, I had all of the ingredients in my pantry or refrigerator! The honey yogurt sauce is sweet and bright, with a lemony finish. It adds an element of creaminess to the dish. The crispy fried capers compliment the chewy texture of the shiitake mushrooms, and contributes to the salinity of the dish. The lemon butter sauce is brilliantly bright, and works its citrusy magic on every ounce of the meal, making this one of the best pasta dinner recipes!
Are Shiitake Mushrooms Good For You?
Shiitake mushrooms are extremely good for you! These earthy mushrooms not only taste AMAZING (if you have never had them, seek them out and try them…they taste much different than the white button mushrooms we get from the grocery store!), but they have been used for a long time for their medicinal properties. Advances in science have recently shown that our ancestors were on to something with the medicinal consumption of shiitake mushrooms.
In a randomized dietary intervention study, healthy adults were given either 5 or 10 grams of shiitake mushrooms daily for 4 weeks. Blood was drawn to determine if there were any significant changes going on in the body. At the end of the 4 weeks, “regular L. edodes consumption resulted in improved immunity, as seen by improved cell proliferation and activation and increased sIgA production. The changes observed in cytokine and serum CRP levels suggest that these improvements occurred under conditions that were less inflammatory than those that existed before consumption”. (1) In other words, daily consumption of shiitake mushrooms showed a decrease in inflammation in the body and improved gut immunity.
(1) Dai X, Stanilka JM, Rowe CA, Esteves EA, Nieves C Jr, Spaiser SJ, Christman MC, Langkamp-Henken B, Percival SS. Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults. J Am Coll Nutr. 2015;34(6):478-87. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2014.950391. Epub 2015 Apr 11. PMID: 25866155.
How To Make The Lemon Butter Sauce For Pasta:
Start by sautéing the shiitake mushrooms in some olive oil. Once they have browned a bit, add the shallots and garlic to the pan, and stir to prevent burning. Pour in the brandy or sherry or white wine, and let it burn down for about 30 seconds. Add your lemon juice and chicken broth to the pan, and allow it to simmer for about 3 minutes. Melt a stick of butter in the middle (I know it’s a lot, but as Julie Childs famously said “With enough butter, anything is good”). Once melted, spoon a few tbsp of liquid into a separate bowl, and add the corn starch. Whisk so there are no clumps, pour it back into the pan, and allow the sauce to simmer for another 3-4 minutes.
Taste to make sure there is enough lemon flavor for your liking, and adjust accordingly. Pour it over the pasta!
If you are in need of an AWESOME sauce pan, the one I use and highly recommend is the All Clad anodized non-stick frying pan set!
If you would like to make your own homemade spaghetti noodles for this dish, go check out my recipe!
Please don’t fear the process of making fresh pasta at home! Just reading the words ‘homemade spaghetti’ can be enough for some peoples reptilian brain ‘fight or flight‘ response to kick in! But I promise you, this spaghetti recipe is so stinkin’ easy, I actually had to take a deep look at myself to figure …
How To Fry Capers:
Fried capers are one my ABSOLUTE favorite things on the face of this earth. That seems dramatic, but they seriously elevate the simplest of dishes to the next level. The capers become so crunchy, and their dimension completely changes from just a wet green ball to a crispy flavor bomb of salty magic.
To fry the capers, start by heating canola oil in a small skillet. Drain the capers, and gently pat them dry. Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the capers to the pan. Stirring frequently, fry the capers until they begin to change color. I like to test one and make sure it is crispy enough before draining them from the oil and placing them on a paper towel.
When To Serve This Delicious Pasta Dinner:
You can never go wrong with a spaghetti dinner on a week night. And although this looks complicated, it’s actually fairly straight forward and is a great recipe to add to your family pasta dinner ideas list. It’s also a great recipe if you are wondering what to do with shiitake mushrooms, because you likely have most of the other ingredients in your pantry or refrigerator. The lemon butter sauce for pasta can be poured over spaghetti, rigatoni, penne or really ANY box of pasta you have laying around. And because of the simple elegance of the dish, it can also make a great dinner party pasta dish!
Frequently Asked Questions:
|Do I have to make the honey lemon yogurt sauce? And if I do, should it be hot or cold?||You definitely don’t have to make the lemon honey yogurt sauce, but it truly adds a dimension to this dish that really brings everything together. It also contributes a slight creaminess to the pasta, which I really like. If you do choose to make it, make sure you use a good quality greek yogurt. The creamier the better. I spooned a dollop of room temperature yogurt onto each plate, and it paired beautifully with the warm pasta and sauce.|
|Is this meal vegetarian?||No, because the recipe calls for chicken stock, it is not considered vegetarian. If you want to make it vegetarian, just substitute the chicken stock for a good, strong vegetable stock. Just note that the flavor of the sauce will differ slightly.|
|Do I have to fry the capers?||YES! Well, I mean, technically you don’t HAVE to fry them…but it seriously adds so much dimension and flavor to this shiitake mushroom pasta dish, so I would HIGHLY recommend it.|
Shiitake Mushroom Pasta With Lemon Butter Sauce, Honey Yogurt And Fried Capers
- 16 oz dry spaghetti
- 4 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice for sauce, plus 1 tbsp for lemon honey yogurt sauce (I got all of this from 1 large, juicy lemon)
- 1 2oz jar of capers, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 cups chicken stock (or chicken broth)
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 ounces of fresh shiitake mushrooms (buy as much as you would like, I like to use a lot because I love them so much)
- 1 tbsp brandy, sherry or cognac (if unavailable, do 1/4 cup white wine, and let simmer a bit longer)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp canola oil (for frying capers)
- 1 1/2 tsp honey
- 1/3 cup good quality greek yogurt
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- Garnish with parsley and or shredded parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a roaring boil and cook the pasta as instructed on the box. Drain and toss with olive oil until ready to use. If using fresh homemade spaghetti, cook for 4 minutes.
- Brush off any dirt from the shiitakes and cut off the last part of the stem, if needed. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan, and toss in the shiitakes. Cook over medium/medium-high heat until begining to brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and toss in the minced shallots and garlic. Sauté for about 60 seconds, stirring frequently to prevent burning. At 60 seconds, add the brandy, cognac or white wine, and allow it to burn off for 30 seconds before pouring in the chicken stock. Simmer until it is reduced by 1/2 and is slightly syrupy, about 12 minutes. Once reduced, pour in the 4 tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice and add the butter to the pan.
- While the sauce is simmering, in a seperate small pan, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Once hot (it should sizzle if a drop of water touches the oil), carefully add the drained, patted dry capers to the oil. Fry the capers, stirring frequently, until crispy and begining to brown, about 3 minutes depending on the heat of the oil. Drain the capers.
- Now, spoon about 4 tbsp of liquid from the pan sauce into a small bowl. Mix in 1 tsp of corn startch to the bowl until there are no clumps, and pour this mixture back into the sauce. Stir to combine, and increase the heat to medium for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the sauce is cooking, make the yogurt sauce. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, honey and 1 tbsp of lemon juice together, stirring well. Adjust lemon and honey according to taste.
- Plate the pasta, then pour the shiitake lemon butter sauce over the pasta. Spoon a dollop of lemon honey yogurt sauce on the pasta, and sprinkle with fried capers and optional parsley/parmesan. Enjoy!
Did you like this ‘Shiitake Mushroom Pasta With Lemon Butter Sauce, Honey Yogurt and Fried Capers‘ recipe? If so, you should go check out my ‘Cranberry Braised Beef Stew‘ recipe!
This unique beef stew recipe slow cooks cranberries, sage and thyme with the stewing meat for a sweet and super flavorful beef stew! This dish makes for a great cozy holiday meal, or easy weeknight dinner. Serve it with buttery mashed potatoes, and you’ve got yourself a delicious slow cooked dinner, ready to be devoured …