East meets west.

Shiitake and green bean parsley pesto rotiniI love trying to mix and match ingredients that may unseemingly go together with others (ie. Asian ingredients in Western food and vice versa) and to find that they totally work. Let’s see… some examples… Lamb with cumin? Cheese ramen? Maple bacon? Miso butterscotch? They work. It works. So when my friend Abby posted a recipe for a vegetarian carbonara that had spinach, shiitake, tofu, and asaparagus (or something along those lines), I immediately thought “What’s shiitake doing in there? Weird.” Call me sheltered, but I’ve only ever had shiitake mushrooms in Asian dishes, specifically Chinese cuisine. But then the more I thought about it the more I wanted to make a dish like that thus, my shiitake mushroom and green bean parsley pesto rotini was born.

I really had no idea how this recipe was going to turn out but it somehow worked out! As much as I loved everything in this dish, the shiitake mushrooms were surprisingly the best part of this dish. The shiitake mushrooms lends a distinct and deeper flavour to the entire dish which is really indescrible and incomparable and can’t be imitated from any other ingredient. I loved it. It just worked. In fact, I’d probably double up on both the shiitakes and green beans or maybe throw some asparagus in there for next time.

A true springtime dish. Delish.

Shiitake and green bean parsley pesto rotini Shiitake and green bean parsley pesto rotini Shiitake and green bean parsley pesto rotini Shiitake and green bean parsley pesto rotiniShiitake mushroom and green bean parsley pesto rotini

What you’ll need:
– 12 dried shiitake mushrooms
– 500g whole wheat rotini
– 5 tbsp parsley pesto
– 2 tsps ghee
– 1/8 yellow onion, sliced
– 1 cup frozen green beans, snapped in half
– 1/4 cup water

What you’ll need to do:
1. Reconstitute your dried shiitake mushrooms by submerging them with hot water, covered, and letting sit for 30 minutes minimum. Drain, remove stems, and slice thinly. Set aside.
2. While your mushrooms are reconstituting themselves, cook your pasta in salted water according to packaged directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside in a large bowl.
3. In a small saucepan, heat your ghee until it is melted over medium-high heat. Add the onions to the pan and reduce to medium-low. Caramelize them for 10 minutes. Add your shiitake mushrooms and green beans. Add 1/4 cup water and let it steam for 1 minute or until all the vegetables are warmed through.
4. Add your vegetables and pesto to thep pasta and toss.
5. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a side salad. Makes 6-8 servings.

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