Asian Inspired Vegetarian Spaghetti
Italian food is wildly popular in many countries across the globe and each country has its own take on pasta and pizza. What I’ve noticed is the proliferation of Asian-Italian fusion restaurants in Asia, especially in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. Even though I’m in love with authentic Italian food, I think it’s brilliant (and tasty) to add a twist to an old favorite.
Asian fusion pasta dishes tend to have a lighter, brothy type of sauce, rather than a thick tomato or cream sauce. This recipe takes a fun Asian and vegetarian twist to what typically might be a seafood pasta dish. King oyster mushroom has the look and consistency of a scallop, and because it doesn’t have a strong flavor, it goes really well with the light tomato broth of this dish.
Asian Inspired Vegetarian Spaghetti Recipe
Serves 1 (or 2 if you want to share!)
- 1 medium king oyster mushroom, sliced (approx 1 cup)
- Olive oil
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter (optional)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 80 g (2.8 oz) spaghetti
- Italian parsley, chopped (to taste)
- Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Black cracked pepper (to taste)
Heat up olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Brown both sides of the mushrooms and add butter for a kick of “umami” flavor.
Transfer the mushrooms onto a plate and set aside. Add more olive oil to the same pan and sauté the garlic. When the garlic is soft, add cherry tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are soft. Pour in vegetable broth and continue to reduce it to intensify the flavor. If it becomes too dry, add more broth. It should be enough broth to coat the spaghetti but not too much that it becomes a soup noodle dish!
While the broth is reducing, bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt it generously! Add the uncooked spaghetti and boil rapidly for 5 minutes. Transfer the spaghetti to the pan with the tomato broth. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook over medium heat for about two to three more minutes. Toss in fresh parsley and freshly ground black pepper.