Recipes

Pasta with wild mushrooms

Jun 29, 2015

Candele con funghi selvatici

Wild mushrooms are the inspiration for this dish. In autumn we are now fortunate enough to be able to buy wild mushrooms, their flavor is just spectacular and they are a perfect ingredient for simple but delicious pasta dishes.  Slippery jacks and pine mushrooms are easily found in markets in late summer and early autumn, add some shitake and you have a perfect combination and pretty much all you need for a first class pasta dish. I strongly recommend using the best possible artisanal pasta for this dish. I used pasta from Gragnano a village not far from Naples, where some of the best pasta in Italy is made. The shape I used is called “candele corte” a type of smooth maccheroni, with a long history in Neapolitan cuisine.  I recently found this shape in the “Gentile” brand now available in some of our Continental supermarkets, if you see it, buy it and try it you will be impressed by the results.

Ingredients for people 6 people
2 cloves of garlic, peeled, crushed and finely chopped
Half a white onion peeled and finely chopped, use a red onion or a few shallots if white onions are not available
4 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
600 gr of assorted wild mushrooms such as slippery jacks, pine and some cultivated shitake and Swiss brown mushrooms, dusted with a wet cloth, trimmed and cut into large pieces of a similar size.

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A quarter of a cup of sweet Marsala
A few sprigs of parsley coarsely chopped
400 gr of “candele corte” pasta (you need a non ribbed shaped pasta such a smooth penne or long non-ribbed maccheroni

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100 gr of freshly grated Italian Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to the rolling boil to cook the pasta.
Warm a frypan add 1 tbs of olive oil and when the oil is warm add the chopped onion and garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to a bowl and reserve.
Return the frypan to the heat add 3 tbs of olive oil and add the mushrooms, sauté on moderate heat until they are lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes, transfer the mushrooms to the bowl with the onions.
Warm the frypan again, add 1 more tbs of olive oil return the onion and mushrooms mixture to the pan and add the Marsala, cook for about 2 minutes on a lively heat, add a little water to the frypan if the sauce is too dry, season with salt and pepper and reduce the heat to a minimum until the pasta is ready.

In the meantime cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to the instructions on the packet.
When the pasta is cooked “al dente”, drain and reserve one cup of the cooking water.
Transfer the pasta to the frypan with the mushroom sauce, add half the Parmesan cheese, stir, add one to two tbs of the cooking water and continue to stir the pasta with the sauce. You should mix the pasta with the sauce thoroughly (mantecare); this process will take one to two minutes, add another tbs of the pasta cooking water if too dry, add the parsley and stir again.

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Serve in individual bowls with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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