Hand Cut Pasta with Maitake Mushrooms and Squash Blossoms

by formerchef on August 9, 2010

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Last week I was given some Maitake mushrooms, also called Hen of the Woods mushrooms, and immediately started thinking up dishes where I could showcase their earthy goodness. Sometimes simple preparations are best; good sweet butter, fresh herbs, homemade pasta all compliment the star of the show; the mushroom. I added the squash blossoms because I had them in my garden, but if you don’t have any, you could leave them out, or replace them with zucchini, sliced into very thin ribbons.

These mushrooms not only taste good, but have been heavily researched for their cancer-fighting properties and may help balance blood sugar. In the wild, they can grow in pods of up to 40 or 50 pounds those these were commercially grown, organically, in little 3.5 oz cups, making them look a little like a mushroom cupcake.


Hand Cut Pasta with Maitake Mushrooms and Squash Blossoms Recipe
Printable Recipe in PDF

10 oz fresh pasta
7 oz Maitake (Hen of the Woods) mushrooms
12-15 squash blossoms
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
fresh sage, about 2 Tbsp julienned
fresh basil, purple (or green), about 2 Tbsp julienned
salt and pepper

You can use any pasta you like, but if you would like to make your own, I have a recipe here for homemade pasta.
If you are making it fresh, roll the pasta out into thin sheets. I took it down to the #6 setting on my KitchenAid Pasta Roller Attachment.

While working, keep the finished pasta under damp kitchen towels so it doesn’t dry out.
To cut the pasta, take a sheet and trim off any ragged edges. Starting at a short end, roll up the pasta and then slice it into 3/4 inch pieces and unroll the strips.

Trim the mushrooms off the base, if still attached, separating them into individual pieces. Slice the shallot very thinly. Clean the squash blossoms and if they are very large, slice them in half lengthwise.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta, but wait to cook the pasta until the sauce is almost ready. The pasta will cook in about 3-4 minutes

Heat a large saute pan. Add the olive oil and 1 Tbsp of butter. Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes until they are soft.

Put the pasta in the water and have a colander ready to drain the pasta.

Add the squash blossoms and the remaining butter to the pan with the mushrooms. Toss quickly so that the blossoms wilt, and the butter melts.  Toss in half of the fresh herbs and then turn off the pan.

Drain the pasta and immediately combine with the sauce, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the remaining fresh herbs and serve immediately.

Serves 4 as an appetizer or light main course.

1 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking August 9, 2010 at 10:07 am

Wow, this dish is lovely, and that mushroom blossom is beautiful! I’m so glad I came across your blog, Kristina. Looking forward to stopping by often and seeing what you’re cookin’ next!

2 Vivian August 9, 2010 at 11:45 am

I love everything about this! Maiitakes are an absolute favorite of mine and.I shamefully spend a small fortune on them. I won’t be the first to say they are worth it. What a great pasta dish! You make it look so easy

3 Charles G Thompson August 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm

So agree with you that simpler can be better. This dish look and sounds wonderful. The mushrooms, the hand cut pasta and the squash blossoms. Perfection!

4 Tokyo Terrace August 9, 2010 at 10:38 pm

What a beautiful dish! I love Maiitakes and use them often in Japan. This is a gorgeous pasta dish and I’m sure the mushrooms are showcased beautifully. I love the addition of the brightly colored squash blossoms, too!

5 Kathryn August 25, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I love squash- it tastes great and it’s healthy, too! Have you ever tried squash pear soup? It’s awesome!

6 Katie September 1, 2010 at 7:10 am

Must try this! Looks incredible! IF I can find those mushrooms!

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