Spicy sesame mushrooms with spaghetti (#36)

I’m into sesame at the moment. Partially because I had to buy sesame oil for a recipe and now I think it’ll go to waste if I don’t find more excuses to use it. However, also because it’s genuinely an enjoyable flavour that I’d argue you don’t see that much in home cooking.

This little recipe from Nigella’s new book At My Table is simply bursting with flavour, and looks so incredibly attractive in my mind. Really do go and give this one a shot.

Good things: the taste is exquisite.

Bad things: there’s no meat.

Ingredients & requirements: for two

  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 spring onions
  • 300g chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds
  • 2 cloves of glaric
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 lemon
  • 200g spaghetti
  • parsley

Preparation & cooking

  1. Preparation:
    1. Finely chop 4 spring onions. Set aside.
    2. Slice 300g of chestnut mushrooms. Set aside.
    3. Finely chop around 25g of parlsey
  2. Put a pan of salted water on to boil for the spaghetti. Once boiled, add 200g of spaghetti.
  3. Warm a tablespoon of vegetable oil on a medium-high heat in a wide saucepan and add the spring onions. Fry for 1 min.
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 mins
  5. Add the following ingredients before stirring together, putting the lid on and leaving to simmer for 5 mins (for ease of use put them all in a bowl first and then add to the saucepan in one go):
    1. peel and mince 2 cloves of garlic and add
    2. 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds
    3. 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
    4. 2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil
    5. 1/4 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
    6. grate in the zest of a quarter of a lemon, halve the lemon and add 1 tablespoon of juice from it
  6. Turn off the heat on both the mushrooms and the spaghetti. Use some tongs to add the spaghetti to the mushrooms and then add most of the chopped parsley. Maybe add a spoonful of liquid if needed.
  7. Now you can simply divide between the plates and chow down.


So this is one of the dishes where I learnt to stop skipping on the fresh herbs. The parsley is, in my view, so important to this dish. As with many other pasta dishes that could otherwise be deemed plain, either in terms of visual impact or in terms of texture.

It’s got a kick to it. I’d say most people would eat it more than comfortably, but potentially watch out for those who perspire at the sight of a chilli flake. I personally love the result of the sesame, soy and chilli.

I’ve actually remade this a few times now. It’s great to have a recipe that’s so easy to do, with such exciting results, that you can easily put together from ingredients you can find in any small supermarket around the corner (well, if you have all the sesame related material as one of your store cupboard essentials like I do thanks to Nigella).


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