Linguine with Shiitake in Cream Sauce



By Cat, March 2013 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

See also: 1. Pasta Menu2. Pasta (About)3Mediterranean Menu; 4. Mushrooms (About)

When I lived in Oregon, shiitake were a fairly available fresh mushroom, but here in Montana, I can only find the dried version. But once reconstituted they are as good as fresh. Or substitute with portobello or cremini mushrooms, which are usually available in most grocers (cremini are the darker version next to the white button mushrooms; portobello are the large, dark mushrooms as big as a half-pound burger).

The original recipe was a vegan recipe (no animal products), but I’m not a vegan, so I have adapted it to use real cream, butter. However, I do retain notes regarding vegan replacements.

Linguine with Shiitake in Cream Sauce

This recipe is adapted from a vegan recipe in our local newspaper (Daily Inter Lake), March 20, 2013. In addition to  adapting for non-vegan ingredients (retaining notes for vegan), I also reduce it from 6 to 2 servings.

The original recipe called for Earth Balance margarine instead of butter, but I do not recommend that, as it is made from inter-esterified fats (natural fats that have been chemically changed, a process shown to be worse than trans fats. See my article Chemically Altered Fats:  A New Study for more on this). If you are vegan, use coconut oil instead of butter.

I don’t recommend using soy milk; for a vegan version, I would use almond or coconut milk (first pressing), which are richer than rice milk. Soy just has too many health issues, not to mention that unless it’s Organic, it is likely GMO.


Ingredients & Equipment:

  • Prep:
  • 1 ½ Tbsp crispy pinenuts (pigñoli) or crispy chopped walnuts (soaked and toasted)
  • 1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms (or reconstituted dried shiitake)
  • 2 tsp arame
  • 2 cloves garlic (about 2 tsp, minced)
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped fine
  • Pasta:
  • 6 oz dry linguine
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp vermouth or other dry white wine
  • ½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup rich milk or cream (use almond or coconut milk for a vegan recipe)
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (vegan optional)
  • 1 tsp butter (optional; substitute with olive or coconut oil if vegan)
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmigiana or Roman cheese, grated (optional garnish)
  • Equipment:
  • medium mixing bowl (for reconstituting dried shiitake)
  • saucepan or saucier


  1. Prep: Prepare crispy nuts (soak overnight, then toast in slow oven).
  2. Cut shitake into ½” chunks. If using dried shitake, reconstitute in warm water, then drain).
  3. Soak arame in ½ cup water.
  4. Mince garlic, to make 2 tsp.
  5. Wash, dry and chop parsley.
  6. Pasta: Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, reserving ¼ cup cooking water. Set aside to keep warm.
  7. Heat olive oil in sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic, saute 1 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn’t burn.
  8. Add shitake, wine, and lemon juice. Sauté 5 minutes, adding reserved pasta 1 Tbsp at a time to prevent sticking.
  9. Reduce heat and add milk/cream/vegan milk, butter or coconut oil (if using), red pepper flakes and arame with liquid. Add nutritional yeast if vegan. Season with unrefined sea salt and pepper.
  10. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. See assembly instructions, below.

Assembly or Serving ideas

  • Divide linguini into 2 portions, top with shitake and sauce, and garnish with parsley and crispy nuts. Pass grated Parmigiana or Romano cheese to use as desired (not vegan).


  1. Daily Inter Lake, March 20, 2013

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