Delicious and easy-to-make dinner: Asian-flavored pasta with broccoli and oyster mushrooms. Perfect for the weeknights! I love using oyster mushrooms in cooking, and they taste exceptionally wonderful in Asian dishes. Oyster mushrooms are easily available in Asian stores and in some regular grocery stores, too. The sauce is very basic but deliciously flavorful: tamari sauce + honey + sesame oil + crushed red pepper flakes (optional). I am using wheat-free tamari sauce, which is basically a gluten-free version of soy sauce. Soy sauce is much saltier than tamari, so if using tamari, make sure to season your final dish with salt, if desired.
Because I recently became gluten intolerant, I am using wheat free/gluten free pasta – Tinkyada Fettuccini Style Pad Thai Brown Rice Pasta. I was pleasantly surprised what a great texture this brown rice pasta has to offer – it’s not mushy and tastes just like regular pasta. I cooked it the way I would cook regular pasta – by cooking it in boiling water for 8-10 minutes (or a little bit longer, to achieve right consistency), and then rinsing it in cold water to stop cooking.
If you’re not following gluten free diet, just use regular pasta and regular soy sauce instead of tamari sauce, but keep in mind that soy sauce is much saltier than tamari, so you might want to use only 1 tablespoon of it in this recipe.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add mushrooms and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes, regularly stirring with spatula. Sprinkle the mushrooms with a little bit of salt, cover with the lid and continue cooking the mushrooms for another 5-7 minutes, occasionally stirring. Having the lid on will allow mushrooms generate some moisture and not get burned. Mushrooms should be cooked for a total of 7-10 minutes. Cover the skillet and set aside.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil, add pasta. Cook pasta according to package instructions (in my case, I cooked Tinkyada Brown Rice Fettuccine pasta like I would cook a regular pasta - by boiling it for about 8-10 minutes until the pasta achieved the right consistency).
As you cook pasta in boiling water, blanch the broccoli by dipping the broccoli head into pasta boiling water for 30 seconds, then draining it. The broccoli head will turn bright green color! Cut the broccoli head into flowerets and small bite-size pieces. Add broccoli pieces to the skillet with mushrooms.
Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside
Add 2 tablespoons tamari sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1/4 cup reserved pasta water to the skillet with mushrooms and broccoli, on medium heat. Stir to combine, to make sure the sauce coats the vegetables. Taste and add another tablespoon of honey and another teaspoon of sesame oil, if desired. On medium heat, add pasta to the skillet, mix well until the sauce coats the pasta, taste and season with salt, if desired. Keep in mind, that tamari sauce is not as salty as regular soy sauce, so you might have to add salt to your pasta. If you're using regular soy sauce, you will likely not need to salt your dish.
To serve, top each pasta serving with some whole cashew nuts and some finely crushed ones (use knife to crush them into smaller pieces).