Pappardelle with Sherry Mushroom Sauce, a recipe.
Pappardelle with Sherry Mushroom Sauce
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
Pasta coated with a silky mushroom sauce is for the mushroom lover in your family. I like to use an assortment of cultivated mushrooms with some dried wild mushrooms. The variety add more depth of flavor and cuts down on the cost. If you have a bounty of wild mushrooms, all the better. Please note portabellas and baby bellas (crimini) mushrooms, turn the mushrooms and sauce a darker brown and grayish color during the cooking process. A squirt of lemon juice will prevent the brown-grey color from getting too dark. If you use portabellas, remove the dark gills before you slice them. 

Wide flat noodles are my preferred pasta shape with this smooth mushroom sauce. Often pappardelle or tagliatelle are hard to find so penne is a good substitute. If you can get fresh pasta go for it, but make sure you time the pasta to reach just shy of al dente when the sauce is done cooking. Fresh pasta is best eaten right after it is cooked.

This recipe is adapted from Lidia's Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali, Tagliatelle with Mushroom Sauce. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 5
Author: Ginger
Ingredients
  • .5 oz (14 g) dried porcini mushrooms*
  • 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water
  • 1 lb. (454 g) dried or fresh pappardelle pasta or tagliatelle, or penne
  • 2 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 lbs 750 g assorted mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 leek cleaned and minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 TB fresh rosemary minced (thyme or sage)
  • 3 TB tomato paste
  • 2 TB dry sherry or Cognac
  • 1 - 1.5 cups (250 - 375 ml) reserved mushroom liquid, or a combination of vegetable or chicken stock and mushroom liquid
  • 2 TB butter
  • Handful of Italian parsley chopped for garnish
  • Fresh finely grated Romano cheese
Instructions
Reconstitute the dried mushrooms
  1. Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over the mushrooms. Stir the mushrooms and poke at them to submerge the mushrooms under the water. Quickly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the liquid my lifting them out with your hands or a slotted spoon and rest them on a cutting board. Pour the liquid through a fine mesh strainer, lined with a double layer of cheese cloth, into a small bowl. Finely chop the reconstituted mushrooms and set aside. Reserve the mushroom liquid for later.
  2. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to boil. Once the pasta water reaches a vigorous boiling point and add about 2 teaspoons of Kosher salt.
Prepare the mushroom sauce
  1. While the water is coming to a boil, heat a large skillet, about 12 inches (30cm) or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil add all the fresh mushrooms to the pan. (If you use a smaller pan, you may want to sauté the mushrooms in a couple of batches.) Sauté stirring occasionally until they are cooked through and all their liquid has evaporated.
  2. Add the minced leeks, garlic, minced reconstituted porcini mushrooms, half the minced rosemary, Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper then stir to coat the vegetables. Cook until the leeks are soft about 5 minutes. Push aside the vegetables to uncover the hot spot of your pan and add the tomato paste to toast it over the hot spot for about a minute. Mix the tomato paste with the vegetables and cook for 4 minutes. Add the liquid, either just the mushroom stock or a combination of mushroom and chicken stock no more than 1. 5 cups (375 ml), and the butter. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer the mushroom sauce until the butter is melted and incorporated into the sauce, about 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  3. Add the pasta to the salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Refer to the directions on the back of the pasta box. Occasionally stir the pasta so the strands do not stick together. Once cooked, remove the pasta from the water using tongs and add it directly into the pan with the mushroom sauce. Toss to evenly coat the pasta with the sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining minced rosemary and serve.
  4. Serve immediately garnished with minced parsley with finely grated fresh Romano cheese.
Recipe Notes

Dried porcini powder is another way to get earthy mushroom flavor when cooking with cultivated mushrooms. Start with 1 teaspoon. Taste, then adjust with more if needed.