This is a great mushroom pasta that emphasizes the mushrooms’ richness and taste instead of pushing them over the top with cream. The citrusy notes are bright and happy on your palate, plus it’s... simple to make. It’s delicious with skinny whole-wheat pasta like spaghetti, or with wider egg pasta like pappardelle. Make sure the mushrooms are fresh. The gills (underside) should be a velvety, pink-brown color with no dark, wet patches.
Cut the stalks from the mushrooms. Remove roots, if any, and cut the remaining stalks into chunks. Wipe the caps with a damp cloth and cut into a ½-inch dice.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until it starts to ripple. Add the garlic, thyme, and cayenne pepper, if using. Cook until the garlic starts to color. Add the shallots and parsley. Saute until the shallots start to color and soften.
Add the mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste. Saute until the mushrooms start to give up their juices and color.
Take the pan off the heat and add the lemon juice. Mix well, cover the pan and let it sit while you cook the pasta. Cook pasta according to package instructions. When the pasta is done, drain and toss the dripping pasta with the mushrooms. Serve with a grind of black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.