As the first Autumn leaves start falling to the ground and harvest starts to peak throughout wine country, another season of truffle and mushroom foraging begins as well. Today’s recipe is a nod to the fresh wild mushrooms showing up at the market and is a wonderful compliment to many red wines.
Pasta con Funghi
1 pound Rigatoni
6 oz. Shittake
8 oz. Crimini
4 oz. Chanterelle
4 oz. Diced Pancetta
1/2 sweet onion, sliced
1/4 Cup Milk
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
8 oz. Mascarpone Cheese
Salt & Pepper
|~ These are the onions and mushrooms sliced and waiting to saute ~
Start slowly rendering the pancetta in a pan that will ultimately hold the final condimento. Keep the flame low with just a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil and let the pancetta crisp. While that’s working, saute the mushrooms with the onions and garlic in some extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and saute until the mushrooms start picking up some color; about 10 minutes.
|~ Here the mushrooms, garlic, and onions are working in the front, with the pancetta in the larger pan behind ~
Once the pancetta is rendered, after about 8-10 minutes, add the mascarpone cheese. Yes, this is a decadent recipe! Add a drizzle of milk and whisk together to incorporate the cheese. It’s critical at this point to check for seasoning. While mascarpone is delightfully creamy and rich, it’s not salted, so you want to add salt and pepper.
|~ In this photo, the cheese has just been added and the sauce has been seasoned. I used about 1/4 cup of milk ~
Once the sauce comes together, transfer the mushrooms to the pan with the sauce. Lower the flame and allow to simmer while the pasta finishes cooking. This will allow the flavors in the sauce to marry. If the sauce is too thick, you can reserve some of the pasta water to adjust the consistency. Add a generous amount of chopped fresh parsley and prepare to serve.
|~ In this photo, I’ve made a gouge in the sauce with my wooden spoon. You can see how thick the consistency of the sauce is – as it does not rush to fill the line I’ve created. I added about a 1/4 cup of the pasta water before serving ~
The Chef’s plate. Pass grated cheese and black pepper at the table. If you want to guild the lilly, a drizzle of truffle oil over each presented plate would be the way to go.
|~ Rigatoni con Funghi ~
Tutti a tavola!