split-ticker-0826 Free Shipping on orders over $49* Use code: SHIP4FREE20% Off WS Stainless-Steel Cookawre*
Return to Previous Page

Tagliatelle with Porcino Mushrooms

When the soil is damp and spongy and the weather just right, neither too hot nor too cold, locals from Florence take to the woodlands carrying baskets and long wooden sticks. They are searching for mushrooms, using their staffs to overturn leaves in hopes that something edible lies underneath. Of all wild mushrooms, none except perhaps the rare orange-capped ovolo is as prized as the fungo porcino (porcino mushroom). Locals cook porcini with nepitella, a small-leaved wild mint, but they are delicious, as here, with fresh thyme.

Serve with a spicy, rich red wine, such as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. fresh porcino mushrooms or other wild or
     cultivated mushrooms, such as shiitake
     or cremini, brushed clean
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 or 4 fresh thyme or nepitella sprigs
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. spinach tagliatelle, or a mixture of
     spinach and egg tagliatelle
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
     cheese for serving

Directions:

Cut away the tips of the mushroom stems; if using shiitake mushrooms, discard the entire stem. Thinly slice the mushrooms lengthwise.

In a large, heavy-bottomed fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove and discard the garlic. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon, until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. (They might stick to the pan for a moment before beginning to release their juices, but it is not necessary to add more oil.) Increase the heat to high, add the wine and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, until the alcohol from the wine has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are cooked through and all the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes more.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the boiling water, add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water.

When the mushrooms are ready, remove from the heat and stir in the butter. Add the pasta and toss, adding a bit of the reserved cooking water if the pasta seems too dry. Serve immediately and pass the cheese at the table. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Foods of the World Series, Florence, by Lori de Mori (Oxmoor House, 2004).