Pappardelle pasta with wild mushrooms

Pappardelle pasta with wild mushrooms

Pappardelle sui funghi

By
From
Acquacotta
Serves
4
Photographer
Emiko Davies; Lauren Bamford

This is my favourite way to prepare any wild mushroom – that is, extremely simply, letting the mushrooms speak for themselves. I like to use a mixture of mushrooms whenever possible. I find porcini on their own incredibly strong, so I like to add a handful of sunny chanterelles or Caesar’s mushrooms, which not only add depth of flavour but they brighten up the plate, too. Once you’ve taken the time to clean the mushrooms of their forest floor dirt, this sauce is very quick to prepare. It goes best with fresh pasta, but in a pinch, dried pasta makes this a very quick meal indeed. Don’t go overboard with the cheese (in fact, you could easily leave it off entirely) as you don’t want to mask the flavour of the mushrooms.

Marco’s nonna Lina was superstitious in the kitchen (you could never lay a loaf of bread upside-down or let the salt spill around her) and she used to prepare freshly picked mushrooms with nepitella (calamint) and an obligatory garlic clove. They used to say that the garlic would turn black to warn you if any of the foraged mushrooms were poisonous impostors (there are several varieties of mushroom that look very similar to Caesar’s mushrooms but are actually deadly). I like to think this old wives’ tale is just a way to remember that garlic goes really, really well with wild mushrooms.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Pappardelle pasta

Quantity Ingredient
200g fine semolina, plus plenty more for dusting
200g plain flour
4 eggs

Sauce

Quantity Ingredient
300g mushrooms, (about 2 medium-sized porcini, plus a handful of chanterelles, button or Caesar’s mushrooms)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, squashed with the flat edge of a kitchen knife
125ml dry white wine
1 handful calamint, (or marjoram or oregano and mint)
grated pecorino cheese, to serve, (optional)

Method

  1. To make the pasta, combine the flours together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flours and crack the eggs into it. Begin mixing with a fork, from the centre outwards, slowly incorporating the flour. Eventually you will need to use your hands instead of the fork; keep combining the flour until you have a nice, soft dough. On a clean surface, well dusted with flour or semolina, knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until it is elastic and no longer sticky. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough into 2–3 portions. With a pasta machine or on a work surface dusted with flour, roll out each portion into a thin sheet about 1 mm thick. I highly recommend a pasta machine for this job (though by hand it’s not impossible); if using one, start with the widest setting and roll the dough through. Dust with semolina. Change the setting to the next consecutive number and roll the dough through again. Dust with semolina. Continue this way until you have a thin sheet about 1 mm thick – this is usually the second last setting on the pasta machine. You may find the sheet gets so long that it’s difficult to handle – a second pair of hands is enormously helpful. You can also cut the sheet into manageable lengths.
  3. Cut the pasta sheet lengthways into strips with a pastry wheel cutter about 2–2.5 cm wide for long, flat pappardelle. Or, for a quicker method, dust the pasta sheet generously with semolina, fold the pasta sheet several times over itself (dusting each fold with flour so it doesn’t stick) and cut with a sharp knife or pastry wheel cutter into strips. Note that a fluted pastry wheel cutter gives a ruffled edge, which is nice for holding sauce. Unroll the noodles, dust generously with semolina and lay in a single layer on baking paper, or you can shape into little nestlike bundles of equal portions. If using soon, cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap until the rest of the pasta is ready. If using the next day, you can let them ‘air dry’ and, in this case, it’s better to lay them flat in a single layer.
  4. In the meantime, prepare the mushrooms by cleaning them of any dirt gently with a damp cloth. Cut off the ends of their stems and slice the rest thinly or cut into dice. In a wide frying pan, heat the olive oil, add the garlic and cook over low–medium heat to ‘infuse’ the oil for 2–3 minutes, or until the garlic begins to colour. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the white wine and let the liquid cook down a little, for approximately 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the herbs and check for seasoning. Set aside.
  5. Put the pasta in a large pot of boiling, well-salted water – ideally, use 1 teaspoon of salt per 1 litre of water. Cook until silky and al dente, about 3–5 minutes. Drain, saving some of the cooking water, and toss the pappardelle with the mushrooms. If it is a bit dry, add the reserved pasta water. Serve with grated pecorino cheese, if desired.

Note

  • Use eggs that weigh 55–60 g. Larger eggs will result in a stickier dough and you may need more flour to correct it. If using dried pasta, you’ll need to cook 320 g, or 80 g per serve.
Tags:
Italian
Tuscany
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again