Recipe: Shiitake and Leek Penne


These are the first flush of a new shiitake crop. We grow on enriched hardwood sawdust blocks, with our first pick coming approximately 5 months after innoculation. The blocks will fruit for 1 1/2 to 2 months, with cleaning and soaking in between flushes.

The following recipe is from a new recipe book I got from my children for Christmas, Mollie Katzen’s “Vegetable Heaven”, with a few changes…

3 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cups cleaned, minced leeks (about 2 large leeks)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
2 large handfuls fresh spinach
5-10 large raw shrimp, rinsed and shelled (optional)
3/4 to 1 pound penne
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Saute the leeks for about 5 minutes in the olive oil, stir in mushrooms and salt, and cook for about 10 more minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp, and cook til just done, then add spinach leaves and cook until wilted, stirring every few minutes. Meanwhile, bring a large potful of water to boil, and cook pasta until just tender. Drain, transfer to serving bowl and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Immediately sprinkle with cheese and stir well. Pour sauce over pasta, mix well from the bottom. Top with fresh ground black pepper and enjoy!

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