Whole Grain Spaghetti with Caramelized Shiitake Mushrooms and Pumpkin Seeds

Chef Dewey McMurrey, CEC, ACE, of Texas Tech University, developed this recipe using nutrient-packed pumpkin seeds. Make sure to garnish with plenty of basil for a color contrast and flavor.

4 pounds Barilla Whole Grain Spaghetti
4 ounces olive oil
24 quartered shiitake mushrooms
8 ounces diced sweet onion
4 teaspoons minced garlic
as needed salt
as needed black pepper
4 ounces toasted pumpkin seeds
16 basil leaves, chiffonade
8 ounces shaved Parmesan cheese

Cook the Barilla pasta for half the time indicated on the package. Drain pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent from sticking. Place pasta flat on sheet trays or hotel pans and cool in a blast chiller. Alternatively, cool it down in a walk-in cooler. Store in zip lock bags or sealed plastic container; refrigerate and use within several hours.

For each serving, to order:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a skillet until hot. Add 4 shiitake quarters and sear them until they are caramelized. Add 2 teaspoons onion and a pinch of garlic and saute until they are translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, reheat 1 1/4 cups pasta in simmering water. Drain and add it to the vegetables. Toss and add 1 teaspoon pumpkin seeds. Plate and garnish with basil and 2 teaspoons Parmesan.