While stir-fries have long gone hand-in-hand with rice, this recipe shows the versatility of the dish. Here, a quick stir-fry is transformed into a flavorful, unconventional pasta sauce. Five spice is a Chinese seasoning that is said to incorporate all five tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. In this recipe, its blend of star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns and fennel intensifies the robust flavor of the mushroom. Don’t overcook the broccolini; it should be crisp, with a bright green vibrancy. You could easily substitute broccoli, green beans, snow peas or other crunchy greens. And don’t skip the butter (or use vegan butter, if you prefer), as it provides a beautiful richness which brings the sauce and ingredients together.
Preparation of Mushroom Pasta Stir-Fry
Step 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package instructions, until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta
Step 2. Meanwhile, heat a large (12-inch), deep skillet over medium-high. When hot, add 2 tablespoons oil and the mushrooms. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes, giving it a stir every 2 minutes or so. The mushrooms will release lots of liquid, but it will evaporate as it cooks. When the mushrooms start to turn golden, add the garlic, five spice and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper, then cook for 1 minute. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
Step 3. While the mushrooms are cooking, make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk the oyster sauce, maple syrup, soy sauce, sesame oil and chile oil with 1/4 cup water until combined. Set aside.
Step 4. Heat the same skillet back over medium-high. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the broccolini. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the broccolini is tender but still quite crisp.
Step 5. Add the pasta to the pan, along with the sauce and the butter. Using tongs, toss to combine, then add the reserved pasta cooking water, 1/4 cup at a time, just to loosen the sauce. When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms and toss again. Remove from the heat. Serve topped with scallions.