Penne with Mushrooms

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

Hazan Family Favorites

Hazan Family Favorites

By Giuliano Hazan

Published 2012

  • About

This is another of the gems I found in my mother’s notebook of beloved recipes she inherited from her mother. It is one of the first dishes our daughter Gabriella made all by herself from start to finish (I did drain the pasta for her). It is also wonderful with a mixture of shiitake and white mushrooms. In fact, I’m sure it would be good with any assortment of mushrooms. Don’t be shy in seasoning this dish. Remember, its a sauce that is meant to season pasta, so it should be seasoned more aggressively than if it were a stand-alone side dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • ¾ pound white mushrooms
  • 5 to 6 sprigs flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound penne
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Method

  1. Put the dried porcini in a bowl, cover with water, and soak for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  3. Brush any dirt off the white mushrooms and thinly slice them. Finely chop enough parsley leaves to measure about 2 tablespoons. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
  4. Lift the porcini out of the water, squeezing the excess liquid back into the bowl. Do not discard the water. Rinse the porcini under running water, then chop them coarsely.
  5. Put the olive oil, butter, garlic, and parsley in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Sauté until the garlic and parsley are sizzling, then add the porcini to the skillet along with the water they soaked in. Be aware that there may be some sand at the bottom of the bowl, so pour carefully or strain through a paper towel. Cook until the porcini water has almost completely evaporated, then add the white mushrooms. Season generously with salt and pepper, cover the pan, and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring approximately every 2 minutes. If the mushrooms begin sticking to the pan before 10 minutes is up, add just a little water.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water, add the penne, and stir well. Cook until al dente.
  7. While the pasta is cooking, add the cream to the sauce and cook until it has reduced enough to thickly coat a spoon. Remove the sauce from the heat. When the pasta is done, drain well, toss with the sauce and the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve at once.