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Orrechiette with Brussels Sprouts, Yellow Squash, Spinach Wild Mushrooms

I told you yesterday about the pasta dish I enjoyed at foreigncinema in San Francisco. I recreated the recipe at home, making a few substitutions, an addition of cherry tomatoes, and…

… believe it or not, the omission of cheese. Gasp! It really just didn’t need it. Feel free to add it back in if you’d like.


This was the menu description:

Orecchiette pasta: Brussels sprouts, fava leaf, delicata, wild mushrooms, Reggiano, garlic, chili flakes.

fava leaves

This is fava leaf. Unless you grow your own fava beans, fava leaf is going to be pretty darn hard to come by. Since spinach is very similar in taste, I used spinach.

Delicata squash

Delicata is a winter squash, even so, it belongs to the same species as all types of summer squash including pattypan squash, zucchini, and yellow crookneck squash. Although delicata squash is common in markets this time of year, I didn’t see any the day I shopped, so I used yellow crookneck instead.

All that being said … here is my recipe…

Orrechiette with Brussels Sprouts, Yellow Squash, Spinach and Wild Mushroom

Orecchiette with Brussels Sprouts, Yellow Squash, Spinach, and Wild Mushrooms

1 ounce dried wild mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
8 ounces Brussels sprouts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large or 2 small yellow crookneck squash
1  1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup baby spinach leaves
8 ounces orecchiette pasta, freshly cooked according to package directions
6 yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Place the dry mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 1/2 cup boiling water, set aside.

shaved brussels sprouts

Slice each Brussels sprout thinly, discarding the ends.

yellow squash

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and then thinly slice into half-moon shapes, discarding the ends. Set sprouts and squash aside.

saute sprouts

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add olive oil and then sauté the onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and stir for 20 seconds. Stir in the thinly sliced Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.

brown slightly

Continue to cook until sprouts begin to brown and caramelize slightly.

add squash

Add the squash slices and cook until just softened, a minute or two.

soak mushrooms

Then stir in the softened wild mushrooms along with the soaking liquid. Cook until the liquid has cooked off, then transfer the vegetables to a bowl and return the skillet to the heat.


Turn heat to high and add the stock to the skillet and deglaze the pan while reducing the liquid to about 1 cup.


Once the stock is reduced, add the half-and-half and pepper flakes and bring back to boil, and reduce until the liquid is thickened slightly.


Return the vegetables to the skillet and add the spinach.


Cook until the spinach is limp. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed.


Spoon onto four warmed dinner plates or flat bowls.

Orrechiette with Brussels Sprouts, Yellow Squash, Spinach and Wild Mushrooms

Serves 4

Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat the pasta with sauce and vegetables. Stir in the cherry tomato halves and serve.

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1 Tram Mai { 01.24.14 at 11:15 AM }

Mmmmm, looks delicious- the 3 of us are starving now! I’ll have Stephen get right on that! 🙂 xoxo

2 Marissa { 01.24.14 at 11:23 AM }

Hm maybe I’ll turn on the twinkle lights, put on a quirky movie, open a bottle of wine & make this for dinner!

3 Lori V { 01.24.14 at 7:41 PM }

Wow- Linda this looks amazing . . . . .actually prettier than the original! I think I can get all of these ingredients here in Tokyo- going to give it a whirl. Quick question though- where do I look for the dried mushrooms in the grocery aisles? Let me know if you see this comment. Thanks for sharing! oxox

4 Linda Hopkins { 01.24.14 at 10:23 PM }

Sweet Lori! Seems strange to think that you are already back in Tokyo! Miss you so much. Dried mushrooms should be one of the easiest ingredients to find in any Asian market. I don’t know about Japan, but here, they are sometimes in the produce section. When I’ve shopped at Asian markets here, they are down aisles with other dried foods. Wish I could be there and help you find them in person. Thank you for all your sweet comments on all the San Francisco posts too. Sending you hundreds of xoxoxo across the ocean!

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