Pasta, rice and polenta

Pasta, rice and polenta

By
Antonio Carluccio
Contains
18 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
ISBN
9781844000400
Photographer
Alastair Hendy

Inevitably, this chapter is almost entirely Italian, because it is very traditional to combine pasta, rice and polenta with mushrooms – and few pizzas lack a slice or two of mushrooms! I have tried to give some variety in the recipes by using different types of fungi but, to be honest, when Italians talk about mushrooms they really mean only ceps (funghi porcini), which is what they use and appreciate most. (And, in fact, to improve the taste of various recipes, we often add dried ceps to sauces.) Pasta is the ‘carrier’ par excellence for wild mushrooms, both fresh and dried: their succulent textures complement each other perfectly, and the savoury juices exuded by cooked mushrooms provide just the right amount of lubrication. The association may be traditional, but, a word of warning. Mushroom sauces are used almost exclusively to accompany long pasta shapes such as spaghetti and tagliatelle – rarely short pasta. Different regions in Italy favour their own versions of homemade pasta and of gnocchi, while in the north, polenta and rice make equally delicious vehicles for mushrooms. Here, rice and fungi are very often seen together in risottos, but also in rice salads and soups, and polenta with fungi is used as an accompaniment to meat, usually with tomato-based sauces. Once again, the sauces and mushrooms in my recipes are interchangeable, so feel free to experiment and create your own specialities.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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