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Memory-Supporting Lion’s Mane Mushroom Pasta with Peas and Parm [Video]

Reap the cognitive benefits of Lion’s Mane mushrooms in this pasta recipe chock-full of fresh ingredients.

Growing up, I hated peas. When my mom served me peas, I used to take them off my plate and hide them underneath, only to have them discovered as she cleared the table. If my mom continued to try and get me to eat peas I would pretend to gag as they went down. Oh, the drama of picky eating!

As an adult, I was introduced to delicate early season spring and English peas and I fell in love with their sweet, tender flavor. What’s ah-mazing today is that yes, you can get delicious peas year-round in the frozen food section at your local grocery store, and they are full of nutrition! Even so, I still encourage you to buy them when they are in their peak season, fresh at your local markets. They are guaranteed to turn you into a pea lover like me.

Lion's Mane Pasta with parmesan cheese, fresh peas, herbs and parmesan cheese.

Make this Lion's Mane Mushroom Pasta with peas, fresh herbs and umami rich, parmesan cheese. 

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Pasta Recipe

This pasta recipe combines the delicate flavor of the Lion’s Mane mushroom with young sweet peas and fresh cilantro and mint. I finish the dish with fresh parmesan to up the umami flavor, and a drizzle of my favorite extra virgin olive oil, Manni Oil, The Oil of Life (full disclosure, I love it so much, we sell it in the Organic Authority store). This exquisite olive oil is used strictly for finishing dishes or enjoying neat. If you cook with it, the heat will ruin its high antioxidant profile (gasp!). The striking black bottle also makes it an excellent gift for your food friends.

Manni Extra Virgin Olive Oil in black bottles with Love, Soul and Life caps.

Manni Oil, The Oil of Life is our favorite finishing EVOO.

This recipe is for everyone—If you are plant-based or vegan, use nutritional yeast in place of parmesan cheese and swap the ghee for your favorite plant based butter or cooking EVOO. The main stars, peas and Lion’s Mane, will still shine.

Lion’s Mane mushrooms, depending on where you live and the season, can be found at your local farmers markets, grocery store, or can be ordered online. You can even grow them yourself. 

Lion's Mane growing in the wild. Image by Robert Volpe via Wikimedia Commons

Lion's Mane growing in the wild. Image by Robert Volpe via Wikimedia Commons

Their color and texture is pretty different from other mushrooms you find in the store. They are white, with a shaggy texture (hence, Lion’s Mane) and have a soft spongy interior. That sponginess allows it to soak up the flavors of anything you put on them, so it’s easy to up the flavor profile of these delicious shroomies. This quality makes them one of the most versatile culinary mushrooms!

When cooking with Lion’s Mane Mushrooms I like to cut the mushrooms into half-inch rounds. I don’t like cutting them too thin, because they lose their spongy texture quickly when overcooked.

The Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Include Brain and Mood Support

And let's not forget to talk about mushrooms in general! The mighty mushroom has so many health benefits and can be powerful medicinal healers when they are consistently added to any diet. In fact, they have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years (learn more in our guide to healing medicinal mushrooms).

Lion’s Mane mushrooms in particular are starting to become famous in the western world for their nootropic effects on the brain. They are rich in B-glucan polysaccharides and contain two unique compounds; hericenones and erinacines; that help stimulate the growth of brain cells, also known as NGF (nerve growth factor).1 While more studies are needed to help understand how Lion’s Mane plays a role in cognitive support and protection against memory loss, the neuroprotective properties of this mushroom are promising.2 If eating Lion’s Mane can help me remember where I put my car keys—and taste good in any recipe—then consider me a convert.

Lion’s Mane may also have mood-boosting anti-inflammatory and antidepressant effects, which we could all benefit from. Although more studies are needed to further understand its effects, the early studies on mice and humans are promising. 3, 4

Peas are a Nutritional Superstar Too

Technically speaking, peas are not considered a vegetable, as they are a legume. Those of us who were raised to believe that peas are a green vegetable and that we must eat them (thanks mom!) are shocked right now, I’m sure. To make it even more confusing, peas are sold as a green vegetable when they’re in the shell, so how do we know what to believe anymore?! Other examples of legumes include lentils, chickpeas, beans, and peanuts—all plants that produce seed pods.

Shelling legumes. Image by Karolina Grabowska

Shelling legumes. Image by Karolina Grabowska

One of the reasons peas have a rich nutritional profile is that they are high in fiber and rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which are responsible for many of their health benefits.5 They are also rich in vitamin C.

They are high in starch, and low in calories. A half a cup of peas is about 62 calories.6 Carbs make up about 70% of the calories, and the rest comes in in the form of protein and fat. Pea protein, like most legumes and vegetables, is not a complete protein. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you should try pairing peas with another protein source to round out your amino acid intake.

It’s also important to know that some people may have a sensitivity to peas (although rare) and have trouble with bloating or digestion. Peas contain antinutrients, plant compounds that can reduce the body’s ability to assimilate nutrients, interfering with digestion and mineral absorption.7 These antinutritents are higher in raw peas than cooked peas, so cooking them should help reduce digestive discomfort.8

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Pasta with Peas, Fresh Herbs and Parmesan Cheese

DSC_5330

Here's a list of my favorite tools: Nakiri Knife, Demeyere 11” Fry Pan, Manni Oil Olive of Life, Paddle Grater

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 9 oz or 1 package of tagliatelle pasta, (I use Jovial’s Egg Tagliatelle, it’s GF and delish)
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee (or EVOO)
  • 1 medium red onion roughly chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic smashed, skins removed, chopped fine
  • 6 oz lion's mane mushroom cut into ½-inch rounds
  • 8 oz of fresh or frozen peas (or about 1 ¾ - 2 cups )
  • ⅓ cup cilantro roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup mint roughly chopped
  • Juice of half of a lemon

Garnish

  • Fresh Parmesan for grating, finishing and serving (Or nutritional yeast, for veg alternative)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of a good quality finishing extra virgin olive oil like Manni Oil, Oil of Life

Preparation

Cook egg tagliatelle pasta according to package directions. I start checking the pasta for doneness one to two minutes before the package says it is done, to check for al dente doneness. One minute before the pasta is done, pull one cup of pasta water aside, and reserve for making the sauce.

Meanwhile, in a medium pan over medium high heat, add ½ - 1 tablespoon of ghee. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side until golden and tender. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the pan and set aside. 

In a large saute pan over medium heat, add ½ - 1 tablespoon of ghee. Add onions and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Saute until translucent. Add peas to the pan. Add ¼ cup - ½ cup of pasta water to the pan (depending on the size of your pan), or just enough liquid to heat the peas through without overcooking them, which will ruin their natural sweetness. Continue adding pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tasting the peas for doneness as you go.

Once the peas are tender and the liquid has evaporated, add the mushrooms, lemon juice, mint, and cilantro. Using tongs, add the pasta to the pan and quickly toss to combine in the pan. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Finish with fresh grated parmesan (or nutritional yeast) and a tablespoon or two of high quality extra virgin olive oil, like Manni Oil’s Oil of Life, flaky sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper.

Serve immediately. 

*Note! This article contains affiliate links that are independently sourced and vetted by our editorial team which we may earn a commission on. This helps us reduce the number of ads we serve on Organic Authority and help deliver you a better user experience. We are here to help you navigate the overwhelming world of consumer products to source and uncover thoughtfully made, conscious clean products.

Sources:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24266378/
  2. https://ommushrooms.com/blogs/blog/how-does-lions-main-mushroom-help-the-brain
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26150007/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6982118/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22916813/
  6. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2526/2
  7. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-reduce-antinutrients#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2
  8. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/green-peas-are-healthy#TOC_TITLE_HDR_

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