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Pasta with Wild Mushrooms

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This is a simple dish, but when every component is right, it is unbeatable. The base of the sauce is mushroom cream, heavy cream that has been steeped with sautéed vegetables and mushroom trimmings. When combined with luxurious wild mushrooms, it adds for more complexity than plain cream would. Tripolini is a tiny pasta that combines perfectly with a smooth, creamy mushroom sauce. The sauce should be almost completely absorbed by the pasta-you don’t want a soupy dish-and the pasta must be cooked al dente. Even a wonderful sauce made with the most expensive mushrooms in the world will be ruined if the pasta is overcooked.

Notes

Order of preparation:



• Prepare the mushroom cream.

• Cook the pasta.

• Combine the mushroom sauce and pasta.

Make-ahead notes:



• Slice the carrot, celery, and shallots and refrigerate up to 2 days.

• Grind the mushroom stems and slice the mushrooms and refrigerate up to 1 day.

• The mushroom cream can be reduced partway and refrigerated up to 3 days. Before serving, bring to a boil and finish reducing.

• The pasta can be undercooked, tossed with a little oil, and refrigerated for 2 days. Rewarm in the sauce or in hot water.

Makes4 servings

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, high-calcium, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentfood processor

Mealdinner

Moodblue

Taste and Texturecreamy, herby, rich, savory, umami

Type of Dishdry pasta, pasta

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups tripolini pasta
  • 8 to 10 ounces wild mushroom stems or domestic mushrooms, or a combination of both, cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into small dice
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 8 shallots, cut into small dice
  • Chicken Stock or low-salt canned chicken broth to cover (about 1 cup)
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • About 1½ cups thinly sliced wild mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, chanterelles)
  • 4 tablespoons truffle juice or truffle oil (available at specialty food shops), optional
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Minced parsley or chives, for garnish

Instructions

  1. For the pasta:

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the olive oil, then add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again.

  3. For the mushroom cream:

  4. Grind the mushrooms or stems in a food processor until finely chopped but not pulverized, or mince by hand.

  5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil until just smoking. Add the celery, carrot, and shallots and sauté until softened but not colored, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the minced mushroom stems and chicken stock to cover, bring to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes.

  6. Add the heavy cream, return to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a fine strainer, discarding the solids, and season with salt and pepper.

  7. To serve:

  8. Spoon the sauce into a large skillet and add the sliced mushrooms and optional truffle juice. Over medium-high heat, bring the sauce to a boil and let it reduce by about one third; it should be thick enough to coat the pasta.

  9. Add the cooked pasta, stir well, and reseason, if necessary. Garnish with parsley or chives.

  10. Variations:

  11. For tripolini, substitute cavatelli or tortellini.

  12. Use wild mushroom sauce in Pennette with Mushroom Cream, Lobster, and Asparagus.

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