One of the most fascinating and powerful superfoods on the planet is right beneath your feet: mushrooms. With DNA that's more closely related to humans than to the plant kingdom, many edible fungi have the potential to act as truly medicinal modalities in your diet! Their benefits range from offering anti-bacterial and anti-viral protection, to promoting neurological well-being, to enhancing immune system function, to supporting cardiovascular health, to so much more … and incorporating them regularly into your diet may be one of the best preventative measures you can regularly use in your wellness practice.
In terms of varieties, there are so many! Fresh edible mushrooms are an efficient way to add umami flavor to recipes, and when the season is right, can be found in immense variety: fall, for example, is a fantastic time to source varieties like lobster mushrooms, porcini, shiitake, and maitake (of course, in a pinch, good old crimini or portobello can always do the trick, too). You can also easily boost your meals even further using medicinal mushroom powders, such a like cordyceps mushrooms, reishi mushrooms, or lion's mane mushrooms, to glean additional protective benefits without impacting the flavor of your recipes – we're massive fans of OM Mushrooms as a great resource for these specialty ingredients. Sometimes, we like to marry-up mushroom benefits by including several varieties in one dish, which is exactly what we've done in this warming superfood recipe below.
Wild Mushroom Pasta
Offering the deep flavors of fall and winter, this pasta is given a deluxe superfood enrichment using lion's mane powder, a very mild-flavored mushroom powder well-known for its brain-boosting benefits. You can easily work on several steps of the recipe simultaneously, making this sophisticated dish in a surprisingly small amount of time.
¼ cup olive oil, divided
½ sweet yellow onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red wine
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon lion's mane mushroom powder (optional)
1 bay leaf
12 ounces curled pasta (any variety, such as rice or whole-grain)
8 ounces wild mushrooms,* torn into large pieces
1½ cups cooked garbanzo beans (or 1 15-ounce can, drained)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
Sea salt and ground black pepper
In a heavy bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Add the wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until wine has reduced by about half – or 5-10 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, lion's mane mushroom powder, and bay leaf and return to a simmer. Let cook for 10-15 minutes or until liquid is again reduced by about half. Remove from heat, and discard the bay leaf. Cover to keep in moisture and heat.
Meanwhile, while the sauce is cooking, make the pasta according to the manufacturer's directions. Once the sauce is finished cooking, add the cooked pasta to the pot. Cover to keep warm.
In a large, non stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add half of the mushrooms and half of the garbanzo beans. Cook, without stirring, for several minutes to lightly brown, then continue to saute for a few minutes longer to cook through. Sprinkle with salt, and add the contents of the pan to the pot of pasta, re-cover, and return the pan to the stove. Warm the last tablespoon olive oil, and cook the second batch of mushrooms and garbanzo beans. Add the new batch to the pasta pot. Taste, and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. To serve, sprinkle with fresh parsley.
*You can use any variety of fresh wild mushrooms, or even a blend. Alternatively, portobello mushrooms cut into large dice may also be used.