Lion's Mane mushrooms are famed for their hairy appearance that makes them look like their namesake. Although they are popular as a functional mushroom, lion's mane mushrooms are also delicious. They often feature in haute cuisine and have a taste somewhat like lobster.
Its fishy flavor makes this pasta the perfect vegetarian substitute for seafood pasta. Our dish makes use of this mouthwatering flavor, creating a crispy texture that's sure to delight the taste buds. It's also creamy without being too heavy, making it a winner for any dinner party.
Read on to discover our lion's mane mushroom pasta recipe and learn how to make it yourself. Plus, if you want to learn more about functional mushrooms and why they can fit into your healthy lifestyle, check out the other articles on the VidaCap blog.
What Do You Need to Prepare Lion's Mane Mushroom Pasta?
The primary ingredient of this recipe is lion's mane mushrooms. It's possible to order fresh lion's mane online from various sources, but you may need to plan ahead as these mushrooms are not readily available in supermarkets.
Be warned, as fresh lion's mane can be expensive. If you need to, you can bulk out this lion's mane mushroom pasta recipe using other mushrooms such as shiitake. That said, where possible, stick to lion's mane for the best flavor.
In terms of pasta, long varieties are best. Spaghetti, bucatini, linguini, or tagliatelle are all fantastic options. Spaghetti is the simplest option, but bucatini is best for holding the creamy sauce. Dried or fresh pasta will work, so don't worry about getting a specific variety; you can even make your own pasta if you prefer.
There are only a few other ingredients you need to whip up this tasty entrée. For kitchen equipment, you will need a large pot and a non-stick frying pan with a heavy base for better heat distribution. A small grater and manual fruit juicer will also be useful.
Lion's Mane Mushroom Pasta Recipe
This creamy lion's mane pasta is a flavor explosion with a lemony kick. It's ready in just over half an hour, making it a quick midweek meal that's perfect for any occasion.
|Recipe Ingredient||Lion's Mane Mushroom|
|Recipe Instructions||Fry the lion's mane in a non-stick pan until they turn crispy, cooking the pasta separately. Then, combine both in a pot with a creamy lemon sauce.|
|Recipe Yield||1 serving (multiply as needed)|
|Suitable For Diet||Vegetarian|
- 1/4 lb mushrooms (lion's mane + extra if necessary)
- 1 tbsp cooking oil (olive oil is best)
- 1/4 shallot, finely diced
- ½-1 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 lb long pasta (e.g. linguine, tagliatelle)
- 1/8 cup light cream
- 1/8 cup fresh chives, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/4 medium lemon (plus zest)
- 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- Use your hands to tear the lion's mane into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat 1 tbsp of the cooking oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (tiny bubbles will start to appear), add half of the mushrooms, making sure to spread them out across the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, without stirring.
- Meanwhile, bring a sizable pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add all the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Use one strand to check if it is al dente, then drain but reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Allow to steam dry in the colander.
- When the 3 minutes are up, toss the mushrooms. Continue to fry, stirring occasionally, for about 5 more minutes until brown and crispy. Then, using a slotted spoon, transfer the crispy lion's mane to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Repeat the frying process (steps 2 & 4) with the rest of the mushrooms and oil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and add the lion mane mushrooms back into the pan. Add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant.
- Add the cooked pasta to the other pot with the mushrooms and pour in half of the pasta water and all of the cream. Increase the heat to medium and cook for a further three minutes while tossing the pasta. The sauce should thicken.
- Remove from the heat. Grate the lemon to make the zest, then cut in half and squeeze out the juices. Add in both the lemon zest and lemon juice to the pasta, then stir in the chives and parsley. Season the dish with salt and pepper, stirring in well, then taste and season again if necessary.
- Divide between bowls and serve. Optionally, top with extra chives and some grated parmesan (but remember that parmesan is not vegetarian).
Why Eat Lion's Mane?
There are numerous ways to consume functional mushrooms, including through the use of capsules. These methods can be beneficial because not all mushrooms are tasty, even if they're good for you. Lion's mane, however, is an exception.
This tasty fungus is perfect for consumption in the form of mushroom pasta, among other dishes. But why would people want to eat it in the first place (besides its tasty flavor, of course)?
Lion's Mane has numerous potentially purported benefits, including:
- Brain health
- Mood regulation
- Lowering inflammation
It has been used in natural wellness circles for centuries, so its lobster-like flavor is just an added bonus. Although ancient communities used these mushrooms for their benefits, modern science is only just beginning to investigate these properties.
Many studies performed on lion's mane extract to date are done on animal models or in test tubes. It's worth noting that human studies are thin on the ground, but some of the healthy properties of compounds within mushrooms, such as antioxidants, are well-attested.
Eating lion's mane every day to reap these benefits is likely not plausible, especially because they can be expensive in their raw form. However, enjoying a tasty dish such as our creamy lemon lion's mane pasta occasionally is a fantastic way to consume this mushroom.
For days where you don't plan on cooking a gourmet meal at home, capsules and powders may be a better option.
Final Thoughts About Lion's Mane Mushroom Pasta Recipe
This lion's mane mushroom pasta is a definite winner. It is the perfect option for a meatless meal, making it the ideal switch-out for seafood pasta. After all, lion's mane's seafood-like flavor makes it easy to take the plunge and go meat-free.
Next time you come across fresh lion's mane, make sure to buy it so you can try this recipe. Once you taste the creamy sauce with a subtle citrus kick, you definitely won't regret it.
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Audrey has worked as a registered dietitian for 6 years. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science degree. In 2014 she began an internship with the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, and was hired as an Outpatient Dietitian following graduation. She started her career counseling a variety of patients with different health concerns and disease states. After a few years into practice, she found her passion was working in cancer care, and has spent the last 4 years specializing in oncology nutrition.
In her practice, Audrey has spent a significant amount of time reviewing literature on herbal and dietary supplements in the cancer care setting. Through her work at Vidacap, she hopes to continue to expand her knowledge and understanding of the benefits of supplements in conjunction with promoting a healthy, balanced diet and management of overall health and well being.