The Unusual Way Jamie Oliver Adds Mushrooms To Pasta

Jamie Oliver is a bit of a pioneer. He isn't afraid to make waves over his food choices or the culinary manner in which he uses certain items in his recipes. Back in January 2022, Oliver posted a photo via Instagram of Brussels sprouts with the caption that he holds a "potential unpopular opinion" that these mini green cabbage-looking vegetables are not just a Christmas food. The Naked Chef has also shared his favorite ingredients in new and unusual ways. According to Oliver's website, he has some interesting foods he suggests throwing on the barbecue, including bread, red grapes on a skewer, pizza, and even polenta chips. 

Oliver is equally creative when it comes to making pasta dishes. When he made an appearance on "The Drew Barrymore Show," Oliver showed off his pasta-making skills, stirring up an elegant pasta with a sauce made from heavy cream, almonds, red chili, and mint. But the ingredient that has us wagging our tongues is his use of mushrooms in a noodle dish. Not that mushrooms don't go hand in hand with many Italian recipes, but it is rather how Oliver uses these fungi that has us thinking he's a genius.

Break out the grater

According to America's Test Kitchen, if you want to up the flavor of your classic cacio e pepe pasta dish, you may want to take some mushrooms and grate them right along with the Parmesan cheese. Jamie Oliver does this in a recipe from his 2020 cookbook, noting that the addition of the mushroom will make the dish "nutty and fresh with flavor." A classic cacio e pepe is a simple pasta dish made with pepper, cheese, pasta, and a little butter.

Oliver isn't the only one who sees the value of grating mushrooms. Health enthusiast Leah Itsines is also a fan of grating mushrooms. Itsines grates the entire mushroom and when she lifts the grater, she has an end-product that looks a lot like shredded cheese. Itsines suggests adding grated mushrooms to "meatballs, burger patties, pasta sauces, and soups." She goes on to say this hack is a great way to add mushrooms to dishes without anyone detecting it. She writes, "Grating them into your meals is great because it's easy to hide and a perfect way to bulk out your meal without having to bite into huge chunks of mushrooms (if you're not a fan!)."