I seem to be saying this quite often but it’s been a long time. I’ve been traveling for the last three months and it has been amazing. Now, it’s back to reality and time for some new recipes to brighten our days.
As you might already know, pasta is one of my favorite meals. Almost always, a simple pasta dish can be easily transformed into a celebration of all things Italian. This Porcini pasta is a celebration of perfect autumn Italian food. It is packed with the earthy flavors of the mushrooms making it rich and delicious. Since fresh ones are difficult to come by, many people (even in Italy) use dried Porcini mushrooms instead. In this dish, the rehydrated mushrooms and their soaking liquid are cooked down into a sauce that focuses on their flavor. A small amount of cream is mixed in to enhance the earthy mushroom flavor and give the sauce a silky smooth texture. For this recipe, I used Bucatini pasta, a thick pasta that has the ability to absorb the amazing flavors of this sauce through its hollow center. However, you can use whatever pasta you enjoy. Don’t forget to pair this dish with a good bottle of wine.
1 pound Bucatini or pasta of choice
1/2 cup dried porcini mushroom
1 cup boiling water
4 tablespoons good quality olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup white wine such as chardonnay
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Bring water to boil in a large pot for cooking the pasta.
Place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and cover them with 1 cup of boiling water. Soak for 10 minutes.
Remove the mushrooms from the liquid and keep the liquid.
Add olive oil and melt the butter in a large skillet.
When the butter is melted, add garlic and saute over medium heat until they are just beginning to brown around the edges.
Add the chopped porcini mushrooms, salt, and pepper to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
Add white wine and simmer until the alcohol is evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Strain the soaking liquid through a colander into the pan and simmer briskly until the liquid has been reduced by half, about 5 minutes.
Stir the cream into the pan and simmer just until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust if necessary.
While preparing the sauce, cook and drain the pasta. Once the water has boiled, add a generous amount of salt and the pasta of your choice, and cook until al dente. Make sure to reserve about 1/2 cup of starchy pasta water before draining.
Toss the hot pasta with the mushroom sauce and pasta water.
Mix well and transfer portions to warm pasta bowls.
Serve immediately seasoned with freshly ground black pepper and some shavings of Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.