Spaghetti With Asparagus and Shiitake Mushrooms

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 4)
  • 1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut crosswise in thirds
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 4 ounces shaved Asiago cheese*

PREPARATION

Cook spaghetti in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Transfer pasta to large wide bowl.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter with oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté 1 minute. Add shiitake mushrooms and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté shiitake mixture until soft, about 6 minutes. Add lemon juice; cook 1 minute and then add broth and lemon peel. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Add asparagus to mushroom mixture and simmer until asparagus turns bright green, about 2 minutes. Add chives and remaining 2 tablespoons butter and stir until butter melts. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour sauce over pasta; toss to coat. Top with shaved Asiago and serve.

*Available at some supermarkets, and at Italian markets and specialty food stores.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.