Why fusion? Because the sauce and cooking style are Asian, but the walnuts and pasta are more Mediterranean. Choose whatever pasta you like, and swap snow peas, broccolini or other greens for the spinach, adjusting the cooking time as necessary.

I’ve recently discovered chili crisp, and it’s become my new food obsession. We even drizzled a little extra over our portions. In fact, I like it so much I signed up for my first experience with the “Subscribe & Save” option on Amazon. I started hyperventilating the other day when I briefly thought we had run out of it, until I found another jar on the shelf. Am I headed for an intervention?


8 ounces pasta of your choice

3 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce or Bragg liquid aminos

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

2 Tbsp. maple syrup

½ tsp. 5-spice powder (don’t skip this!)

2 tsp. chili crisp or chili oil, or ½ tsp. red pepper flakes

½ cup chopped walnuts or cashews

2 Tbsp. neutral oil

10 ounces button mushrooms, sliced

4 cloves garlic, chopped

5 ounces baby spinach

3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, white and green parts separated


1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, but do not salt the water. Drain the pasta when it has finished cooking, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

2. While the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, 5-spice powder, and chili crisp. Set aside.

3. In a dry sauté pan, toast the walnuts on medium heat for 5 minutes or so, stirring often to prevent burning. Transfer the nuts to a bowl.

4. In the same sauté pan, heat the neutral oil on medium heat, add the mushrooms and garlic, and cook and stir for 5 minutes or so, until golden.

5. Add the spinach and white parts of the scallions. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or so, until the spinach is wilted.

6. Add the drained pasta and the walnuts to the pan. Stir, and then add the sauce and stir well while reheating. Add a little pasta water if needed to coat the pasta well.

7. Garnish with the green parts of the sliced scallions.