This is the classic Lombardian mushroom sauce used for polenta pasticciata, but it would be delicious on fresh egg pasta or gnocchi as well. Seek out an assortment of fresh mushrooms for the most complex, and therefore satisfying, flavor. This sauce can be thinned with stock or cream if you want to serve it with sformati (vegetable flans).
Soak the porcini mushrooms in hot water to cover for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid, and chop finely. Pour the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth. Set the mushrooms and liquid aside.
In a large sauté pan, melt
Toss the sauce with the pasta and serve.
Your best local choice would be a Valtellina DOC wine from Rainoldi in Lombardy. Failing that, pour a Barbera from the Piedmont.
© 2004 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.