Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms and Tomato
3 quarts water (salt optional)
4 tablespoons olive oil 5 garlic cloves, sliced
8 ounces fresh or fresh-frozen porcini mushrooms, scrubbed and diced into 1/2-inch pieces, or 1 1/2 ounces dried, softened in 1/2 cup hot water for 30 minutes, drained and chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons white wine
5 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 pound pasta -- fettuccine all'uovo, fettuccine verdi, spaghetti or tortiglioni
4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
In a large pot, bring the water to a boil with or without the optional salt. Cook the olive oil, garlic, porcini mushrooms and red pepper flakes in a large saute pan set on medium heat for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with half of the salt and cook until the mushrooms are just starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, deglaze the pan and cook on high heat until the wine reduces by half, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, basil and the remaining salt, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until just tender. Drain well and return to the pot. Add the sauce to the pasta, toss until well coated and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, until most of the juices have been absorbed. Turn off the heat, add the cheese, and toss until well coated. Enjoy.
If you are using dried porcini mushrooms, soften them in 1/2 cup hot chicken stock instead of water and reserve the liquid to add to the sauce when you add the tomatoes. It will greatly enhance the flavor.
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Excerpted from CUCINA AMORE by Nick Stellino Copyright© 1995 by Nick Stellino. Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.