The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - The Telegraph Magazine
Tagliatelle ai funghi
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 30 minutes of soaking time Cook time: 30 minutes
There are so many ways you can make a mushroom sauce for pasta; they can include cream or tomatoes, but they do need some dried porcini for flavour. These aren’t cheap, but you’re only using 10g. Keep the rest for the next mushroom dish that needs a good hit of umami. This is based on a dish from a restaurant in Vagliagli, near Siena, though they use only fresh wild mushrooms.
– 10g dried porcini – 300g cultivated mushrooms, such as chestnut, shiitake and oyster (or use other types)
– 1½ tbsp olive oil – 50g butter
– 1 garlic clove, peeled – leaves from 4 thyme
– 180g fresh tagliatelle – 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan, plus more to serve
Put the dried porcini in a cup and pour over enough boiling water to cover. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
Clean the cultivated mushrooms – don’t use water – and then slice or tear them.
Strain the porcini – hold on to the soaking water – and pat them dry. Slice any of them that are larger.
Heat the olive oil and 35g of the butter in a large frying or sauté pan, and cook the garlic until it’s pale gold, then discard it. Add the porcini and cook gently for five minutes. Add the cultivated mushrooms and fry briskly. You want a good colour all over them. It will seem like there’s not enough room for the mushrooms, but they really shrink. Season and cook until all the fat has been sucked up.
Turn the heat down low and cook for 10 more minutes, adding a few tablespoons of the soaking liquid if the mushrooms get too dry. Add the thyme and check the seasoning.
Cook the pasta in boiling, lightly salted water for three minutes. Drain, keeping half a cup of the cooking water, and toss into the pan with the mushrooms. Add the rest of the butter, the Parmesan and a couple of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water if the sauce seems a little dry. Check the seasoning again and serve immediately with more Parmesan.