A long-time favorite of Kees is home-made pappardelle with mushrooms. So when I asked him what he’d like to eat, it wasn’t a surprise that he asked for this dish. If fresh porcini mushrooms are available, you could of course use those. But since they are hardly ever available at a good quality around here, I usually make this with dried porcini mushrooms. This has the added advantage that you can use the soaking liquid for the sauce.
You could also make this pasta with store-bought pappardelle, but it’s better with home-made because of the more interesting texture.
For 2 servings as a main course or 4 servings in a larger menu
25-30 grams (1 oz) dried porcini mushrooms
250 grams (1/2 pound) fresh mixed cultivated mushrooms, preferably organic
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1 glass (100 ml) dry white wine
1 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
200 grams (7 oz) semolina flour
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
1 slice of prosciutto
bit of concentrated veal stock
Start by making the pasta dough from the 2 eggs and semolina flour. You could also use other flour, but for this recipe semolina is the best because the pappardelle will get a slightly coarse surface that makes the sauce cling better to them and because the texture is nice for pappardelle. Wrap the pasta dough in plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator.
Put the dried porcini mushrooms in a container and bring a cup of water to a boil.
Cover the dried porcini with the boiling water. Let soak for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, clean the mushrooms if necessary and cut them into thick slices.
Drain the porcini mushrooms and filter the soaking liquid through a paper towel to remove any sand or other dirt. Rinse the mushrooms under running water.
Dry the porcini mushrooms on paper towels.
Heat a generous amount of oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the chopped shallot with the whole clove of garlic. Optional: add a chopped slice of prosciutto di parma for additional flavor.
Increase the heat and add all of the mushrooms (both fresh mushrooms and porcini mushrooms). Season with salt. Keep stirring until the mushrooms have wilted and are cooked to your liking. Play with the heat if necessary to let the mushrooms release their juices and then to let those juices thicken.
Remove the garlic. Add a glass of white wine and stir until it has mostly evaporated.
Add the soaking liquid and lower the heat to a very gently simmer. Optional: add a bit of concentrated veal stock for additional flavor.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, roll out the pasta dough, not too thin, and cut into pappardelle of about 2-2,5 cm (1 inch) wide and 30-35 cm (12-14 inches) long. Sprinkle the pappardelle with semolina flour to prevent them from sticking together. (Don’t forget to keep stirring the mushrooms now and then. Don’t cook the mushrooms too long because there should be enough liquid left to coat the pasta.)
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for a few minutes until al dente. Drain and add to the mushrooms. Add chopped parsley. Toss to mix. Serve on preheated plates with some freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.
This goes well with north-Italian white such as Gavi di Gavi or Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. We enjoyed it with one of our favorites: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Riserva Villa Bucci. This wine is aged in oak, but not in new barriques. It comes from a very nice terroir and has great complexity and minerality.