1½ pounds mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, bluefoot, oyster, chanterelle and hedgehog
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1 pound penne pasta
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or similar parmesan cheese)
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.
While the water heats, remove and discard any mushroom stems. Cut large mushroom caps into halves or quarters; leave smaller ones whole.
In a large, heavy skillet heat the oil over medium-high. A handful at a time, add the mushrooms (just enough to form a single layer in the pan), season lightly with salt and pepper, and saute until they start to brown, about 3 minutes.
Push the browned mushrooms to the side of the pan, then add the next batch and repeat.
Once all of the mushrooms have been browned, add the butter and let it foam, then add the garlic and thyme. Stir well, then remove the skillet from the heat.
When the water boils, cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain the pasta and immediately toss with the mushrooms. Add the mint and half of the cheese. Toss well, then add the remaining cheese. Adjust the seasonings.
"Olives and Oranges" by Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox (2008 Houghton Mifflin)