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Spelt Spaghetti with Spicy Sesame Mushrooms

by . Featured in AT MY TABLE
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Introduction

Wholemeal pasta holds little charm for me, but I co-exist very amicably with spelt spaghetti. Here it acts as a rather more robust form of soba noodle, which makes perfect sense since the sauce that dresses the pasta is Asian-influenced rather than Italian. In this vein, leftovers make an instant noodle salad.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Wholemeal pasta holds little charm for me, but I co-exist very amicably with spelt spaghetti. Here it acts as a rather more robust form of soba noodle, which makes perfect sense since the sauce that dresses the pasta is Asian-influenced rather than Italian. In this vein, leftovers make an instant noodle salad.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Spelt Spaghetti with Spicy Sesame Mushrooms
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin

Ingredients

Serves: 2-3

Metric Cups
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 spring onions (finely chopped)
  • 300 grams chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • finely grated zest of ½ lemon (plus 1 x 15ml tablespoon of juice)
  • salt (for pasta water)
  • 200 grams spelt spaghetti
  • leaves from a small (approx. 25g) bunch flatleaf parsley (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 scallions (finely chopped)
  • 3¾ cups cremini mushrooms (sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted Asian sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • finely grated zest of ½ lemon (plus 1 x 15ml tablespoon of juice)
  • salt (for pasta water)
  • 8 ounces spelt spaghetti
  • 1 cup leaves from a small (approx. 25g) bunch Italian parsley (finely chopped)

Method

  1. Put a large pan of water on to heat for the spaghetti. When it’s almost come to the boil, get started on the sauce.
  2. Warm the vegetable oil in a wide pan (large enough to take the pasta later) that has a lid and add the finely chopped spring onions, stirring for a minute until they become vibrantly green.
  3. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook them for 3–4 minutes over a medium-high heat, turning them frequently in the pan.
  4. Add the sesame seeds, the minced garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, chilli flakes, zest of ½ the lemon and the tablespoon of juice and stir everything together, then clamp on the lid and leave on a low heat to simmer for another 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.
  5. Once the pasta water’s boiling, salt exuberantly and cook the spaghetti, using the timings on the packet as a guide, but start testing a few minutes before. If your mushrooms are ready while the pasta’s still cooking, just turn off the heat and leave the pan as it is on the hob.
  6. Using a pasta claw or tongs, lift the cooked spaghetti straight into the pan of mushrooms and toss together with most of the chopped parsley. Or drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water first. Add a little of the pasta water to help sauce and spaghetti cohere. Go spoonful by spoonful; you may not need much.
  7. Divide into bowls and sprinkle with the last bit of chopped parsley.
  1. Put a large pan of water on to heat for the spaghetti. When it’s almost come to the boil, get started on the sauce.
  2. Warm the vegetable oil in a wide pan (large enough to take the pasta later) that has a lid and add the finely chopped scallions, stirring for a minute until they become vibrantly green.
  3. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook them for 3–4 minutes over a medium-high heat, turning them frequently in the pan.
  4. Add the sesame seeds, the minced garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, chilli flakes, zest of ½ the lemon and the tablespoon of juice and stir everything together, then clamp on the lid and leave on a low heat to simmer for another 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.
  5. Once the pasta water’s boiling, salt exuberantly and cook the spaghetti, using the timings on the packet as a guide, but start testing a few minutes before. If your mushrooms are ready while the pasta’s still cooking, just turn off the heat and leave the pan as it is on the hob.
  6. Using a pasta claw or tongs, lift the cooked spaghetti straight into the pan of mushrooms and toss together with most of the chopped parsley. Or drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water first. Add a little of the pasta water to help sauce and spaghetti cohere. Go spoonful by spoonful; you may not need much.
  7. Divide into bowls and sprinkle with the last bit of chopped parsley.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
It is not advisable to make ahead but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Eat cold.

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
It is not advisable to make ahead but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Eat cold.

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