Pasta With Mushrooms
- 1 1/2 Cups Dried Porcini Mushrooms
- 3 Cups Water
- 4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) Unsalted Butter
- 1 Medium Diced Onion
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 1/2 pound portobello mushrooms, chopped (I used baby bellas)
- 2 Cups White Wine
- 1 cup Beef Stock
- •Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound dried rigatoni, penne or other tubular pasta
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 4 Ounces parmesan, freshly grated (about a cup)
One good thing about mushrooms is that they’re always in season. This rich, creamy dish, made with wine and cream, features both fresh and dried varieties. I kept costs down by substituting packaged dry mushrooms (not sure what kind) I found at a local Asian grocery for the more expensive porcini.
The original recipe called for only partially cooking the pasta, and then finishing it in the oven in a roasting bag. I say: Too much work and potential for mess! Instead, I tossed everything in a pan.
In small saucepan, bring dried mushrooms and water to a boil. Remove from heat and let mushrooms steep for 1/2 hour. Remove and dry on paper towels, hanging on to the liquid. Chop the mushrooms, and strain liquid through coffee filter or paper towels into a bowl.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and cook onion, garlic, thyme and portobellos, stirring frequently. When onion is translucent and mushrooms tender, add wine, beef stock and strained liquid. Bring mixture to a boil and cook it, stirring frequently, until it is reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook pasta according to directions. While it cooks, add cream and reserved porcini to the mushroom mixture in the skillet. Bring to boil and boil, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until sauce has thickened slightly.
Drain pasta. Pour into mushroom mixture, and toss to coat. Stir in grated parmesan. Season to taste and serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.
— Adapted from “Beat This! Cookbook” by Ann Hodgman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, March 2011, $14.95)