Creamy mushroom pasta sauce
STEPS 4 INGREDIENTS 9 TIME 30-35 MINS
If you like quirky recipe names with a whiff of mystery then keep clicking, as this creamy mushroom pasta sauce does exactly what it says on the tin - offers up a decadent, velvety and surprisingly quick-to-make pasta covering.
Made using earthy and flavorful porcini mushrooms, along with a good dollop of calorifically evil full-fat cream, it’s not a diet-friendly dish but it sure is tasty.
Rather than being taught to me by Mamma Marisa, my usual trusted source of pasta knowledge, this scrummy sauce comes from the kitchen of another (the treachery!), but as Marisa was in the room with me during the class (pic below), I reckon it’s allowed.
The teacher was Chef Catia Saletti, who comes from Ferrara in Emilia Romagna but whose excellent Trattoria dei Mosto eatery is actually in Liguria, just inland of Italy’s stunning North-West coastline. Thanks to Catia’s pasta knowhow and kitchen speed, she actually taught us three wonderful dishes in just an hour (not only this creamy mushroom pasta sauce but mandilli de sea and le piccage pasta shapes too). Quite a lady!
Here’s how you make it…
Serves 4 (as primo piatto starter, 2-3 as main)
Knob of butter
Pinch of plain/all-purpose flour
20-25g/0.8oz dried porcini mushrooms
Half a good size red onion
10 fresh parsley leaves
100ml/3.5 fl oz full-fat cream
Extra virgin olive oil
STEP 1 - Pop the mushrooms into a big bowl of warm water and leave them to soak for at least 10 minutes. This will ‘hydrate’ them, bringing them back to life.
(If you like, start on Step 2’s chopping while the mushrooms soak.)
- Once the shrooms have inflated before your eyes, grab them out and squeeze away any excess water (but don’t pour away the water from the bowl – it is nicely flavoured and we’ll need some later).
STEP 2 - This step sees us chopping all the ingredients.
- Using either a sharp chopping knife or a 'mezzaluna' (half moon) knife, chop the porcini mushrooms as finely as you can.
- Once peeled and halved, do the same with half the red onion.
- Now peel the garlic clove, and finely chop half of it. Also rinse and slice the parsley leaves. Just mix these two chopped ingredients together and keep to one side for later.
STEP 3 - Now for some frying.
- Drop a large glug (6-8 tablespoons) of olive oil into a frying pan.
- Also add in a heaped tablespoon of butter and a good pinch of flour.
- Pop the hob on medium and when the butter starts to melt, whisk it rapidly into the oil (you can use a hand whisk if you have one, or a fork etc.) This will stop any nasty lumps from forming.
- With the butter melted, add the chopped onion and cook for around 5 minutes (until the onion softens and starts to turn translucent.
- Then throw in all the mushrooms, a pinch of salt and a generous pinch of oregano and mix well.
- Finally for this step, add half a cup of water from the mushrooms' bowl, plus the garlic and parsley mix.
- Now fry it all until most of the excess liquidity has evaporated away.
STEP 4 - And to finish...
- Drop in the cream, stir well and heat for just a minute more - until the sauce begins to darken.
To serve: just cook up your favorite pasta shapes (or knock up some fresh pasta) and mix through with the porcini sauce. If you have any spare parsley leaves, you could also use a couple of these as garnish.
Did you like this creamy mushroom pasta sauce? Then why not try...
• Serve it with homemade fresh pasta next time
• This luxurious, guest-impressing mushroom ravioli dish
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