Pappardelle with porcini and shallots

It seems like I've been seeing mushrooms everywhere I turn - featured in magazines and cooking shows - and since I'm a big fan of it myself, I was inspired to try a new recipe.  I've never cooked with dried mushrooms with the exception of Chinese shiitake and this pasta dish gave me the chance to cook with dried porcini mushrooms.  
Pappardelle pasta with dried porcini, shallots, garlic and thyme
I've been having a great time trying out new savory recipes and been rewarded with some definite keepers.  This one goes on that list.  This pasta (I used pappardelle, which I love, but you could also use tagliatelle or other noodles) is coated with a light sauce that's like a ragu, in my mind, only it's vegetarian and quick to make.  

The porcini mushrooms are so intense - meaty, and with a strong flavor that carries the dish.  I played around with the recipe a bit, doing things like using shallots instead of onions and less tomato paste than called for because I wanted the porcini flavor to be the main focus.  
A little goes a long way with the dried porcini and when you reconstitute it in a little stock, you end up with not only moist, plump mushrooms but also a deep, dark, flavorful liquid that becomes a serious flavor addition to your dish.  

This made a very delicious, satisfying weekend lunch recently.  Even the little guy, who's no longer a mushroom fan (he once was as a toddler) enjoyed some while my husband savored his generous bowl.  That always puts a smile on my face.
If you like mushrooms but rarely cook with dried ones, maybe it's time to mix things up and give it some attention.  I am eager to make porcini risotto soon.  

Speaking of dried mushrooms, I was at Whole Foods shopping for the porcini when I looked around at the other varieties available.  I picked up a container of dried morels and did a double-take!  The little container was priced at about $40 and the price per pound was listed at...$300 (I'm rounding up a penny or two)!  I was in disbelief - I never knew dried morsels were that expensive!  Even the salesperson near me, who I had to grab and ask if this was a mistake, had to check with someone in the department!  Did you know that dried morels were that pricey?!
A little over an ounce of dried porcini mushrooms that's been reconstituted in stock
Luckily, the mushrooms I used for this dish cost less than $5...much more affordable! Since that's the prime ingredient for this pasta, it's not only quick to make but also quite economical (not to mention, delicious).  That's the beauty of pasta.
I used an 8 oz. packet of egg pappardelle pasta from Trader Joe's for this dish.  I love pappardelle, particularly paired with any kind of ragu-like sauce such as this.
So picture...pasta noodles coated with an earthy sauce of savory porcini mushrooms, shallots, garlic, thyme, also flavored with some white wine and tomato paste, and finished with a pat of butter and a squeeze of lemon juice. A light snowfall of parmesan cheese completes it.  Can you taste it?  


Recipe:

Papardelle with Porcini and Shallots
Adapted from Porcini Lovers' Tagliatelle recipe featured in the Nov. 2014 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray

- Serves 2 to 4 - 

About 1 1/3 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
About 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 rounded tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot (or 2 smaller ones), sliced
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1 scant tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Generous 1/3 cup white wine
1 tablespoon butter
8 oz. dried egg pappardelle (or tagliatelle) 
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

Place mushrooms into a small saucepan and add the stock.  The stock should just cover the mushrooms.  Bring to a simmer over medium-heat, then reduce heat to low and let sit for about 15 minutes until mushrooms are reconstituted. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and transfer to a cutting board; coarsely chop. Reserve the mushroom soaking liquid.

Salt the boiling water and drop in the pasta.  Cook until al dente, according to package instructions.   

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallot, garlic and thyme.  Season with salt and pepper, and cook until shallots soften, about 3-4 minutes.  Add tomato paste, cook for about 1 minute, then add wine.  Simmer until wine is reduced by about half, roughly 2 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and the reserved mushroom liquid, being careful to avoid the grit at the bottom of the pan. Stir in the butter and reduce the heat to low.  Add a ladle of the pasta cooking water into the sauce, along with the lemon juice.

Drain pasta and add into the skillet.  Add a bit of parmesan cheese over the pasta and toss well to combine.  Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.  Serve in bowls, topped with an additional dusting of parmesan cheese.  







48 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever cooked with dried mushrooms before too! But I do love the meatiness it lends to dishes, especially pasta. This looks so delicious and I wish I was having a big bowl for dinner right now!

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    1. It does make a good dinner, Bianca. I was thinking to myself that I've seen porcini-this and that often enough but never cooked with it. It was good to try and makes a great pasta dish.

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  2. I love mushrooms! Especially when flavored with fresh thyme. This pasta dish looks magnificent.

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    1. Thanks, Christin! A touch of fresh herbs does make a difference. I like how fresh thyme keeps well for a long time.

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  3. Oh my, YES, I can taste it and I want some! I absolutely adore mushrooms. I can understand how some kids aren't sold on them, due to their texture I think. I haven't ever noticed dried mushrooms anywhere other than at the Asian grocery store where it seems to me that most things come in a dried version. :) I will have to open my eyes and find some porcini to give this recipe a try! ( (Question: Did your spell check change the name of the very expensive mushrooms from morels to morsels? Or am I misreading? I only knew that truffles were priced like diamonds. Apparently morels are too! :) )

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    1. Yes! Thank you, Wendy! My bad...I definitely meant "morels"!! My bad and thank you for pointing it out! I had no idea they were $300 a pound. I don't plan to cook with it any time soon. haha

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  4. I wish I had a big bowl of this right now!

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    1. Hi Amanda - thanks for stopping by! What I wish I had was one of your cakes in front of me right now! Just any dessert of yours, actually. : )

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  5. A simple and wonderful pasta dish, Monica. I am a huge fan of all kinds of mushrooms and just had some shiitake chicken stirfry for the lunch. Sadly, the man in the house is not a fan of any fungus. Well, that's even better because I don't have to share. This will be my next lunch! Thanks for sharing, Monica.

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    1. I've always loved mushrooms...I think I had a couple of years where I took a break (kind of OD'ed on them) but I'm not back. The dried porcini is such a great powerhouse of flavor. Definitely make some for yourself! : )

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  6. Oh my gosh, this looks phenomenal Monica! I seriously want a big bowl of these noodles for breakfast. I adore mushrooms but don't cook with dried ones often except for shitake. I love that you used pappardelle noodles, they are so satisfying and perfect for soaking up all that amazing flavor!

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    1. Thanks so much, Kelly! I'm so glad you like it. Pasta - though simple - always has a way to amaze and satisfy, doesn't it! I wish I could trade you some of this for your curry ramen!

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  7. Well Monica - this is truly amazing. The noodles, the mushrooms, the wine ... it really speaks to me. And once again we are thinking alike because I have a new mushroom dish on my list to make soon. I hope it turns out as great as yours!

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    1. Love that we are on the same page. I am confident your new mushroom dish will be stellar! Your test kitchen is one I wish I could pop into every time it's in action! : )

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  8. Hi Monica, love this DISH! oh my goodness, this is wonderful!

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    1. Yay - glad you like it. I did too. : )

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  9. I used to absolutely haaate mushrooms but about a year ago I ate a mushroom risotto and it was delicious, and now I cannot get enough of them! This looks gorgeous, definitely bookmarking to use later :)
    the hobbit kitchen x

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    1. Mushroom risotto is so good! I am eager to try it with some porcini. Thanks, Holly.

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  10. I don't usually love mushrooms, but dried porcinis are a whole other thing. So delicious! I'm sure they make for a great meaty pasta sauce.

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    1. I'm surprised you don't like mushrooms but not sure why! You can't like everything...for a while, I was over button mushrooms and bellas. I think I over did it. Now, I'm back on the wagon. : )

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  11. The pasta here looks just right with the sauce, I’d love a big bowl of it to warm me up right now. You kitchen must have been filled with wonderful aroma when you cooked this.

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    1. It did smell great, thank you! Glad you like it. One can do no wrong going with pasta/noodles! : )

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  12. Earthy mushroom with pasta is exactly what I like! With that deep umami flavors, even this doesn't have any meat, I am sure it would still be rich and satisfying. Beautifully done, Monica!

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    1. Yes, the flavor is so deep - a little goes a long way. Thanks so much, my friend!

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  13. We have a bag of dried porcinis that I could use for this. It looks wonderful I must say! :D

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  14. Hi Monica. Oh, I love pappardelle! This dish looks great and I love that you used mushroons, perfect for this time of the year :)

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    1. Hi Karla - there's something about pappardelle, isn't there! It just feels and tastes special somehow, maybe because it's often paired with something rich and hearty. Glad you like it, thank you.

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  15. This sounds wonderful. I hadn't used pappardelle until lately, when I needed it for another recipe. I think I know what I'll be doing with the rest!

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  16. I adore all mushrooms but rarely cook with the dried ones! You're inspiring me to use them more! This dish looks absolutely fantastic. I loveeee pappardelle but again, don't usually buy it. Why, I have no idea. Happy weekend!!

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    1. Same here...time to pick up some dried mushrooms? : ) Thanks, Ashley!

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  17. wow, simply elegant and delicious pasta!!!
    lovin porcini all the way...

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    1. Thanks - I love that meatiness, too.

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  18. I'm a HUUGGEEE mushroom fan! This is so perfect for me!

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    1. It's such a great meat substitute or just as a pairing with so many things. Thanks, Ashley.

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  19. This pasta is delightful. The pics are absolutely amazing. They made me hungry. I am gonna try it.

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    1. Thanks so much...I hope you try it. We enjoyed it a lot.

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  20. How delicious! Mushrooms are a huge favourite in our house though I notice my younger twin enjoy it a bit less of late. I am devastated! I always have a pack of dried porcini to throw into a risotto or even a quick curry.I love this dish..mushrooms and pasta..so good!

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    1. I can totally relate. Once upon a time, my son loved mushrooms...not anymore. : ( And the same for nuts...he went from loving to not liking to something like secretly liking now. Putting some dried porcini in a quick curry sounds amazing!

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  21. I will love this recipe very much! I love mushrooms! I don't know when my love for mushrooms started but I don't think it was from my childhood. I love the flavors from different kinds of mushrooms and textures... so juicy when it socks up broth or sauce. What a great dinner this will be!

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    1. Glad to hear it! I do love going beyond button and cremini mushrooms and trying the textures of other wild mushrooms. So, so good.

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  22. I love this dish Monica!! I adore mushrooms yet don't get to eat them that often as the kids are not keen. About time I changed that I think...this looks so good.

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    1. I know...there are so many things (like seafood) that my husband and I love but the little man does not. Definitely have to treat yourself to your preferences more often. Glad you like this.

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  23. I loooove mushroom in my pasta! And pappardelle especially; they're so fun. I remember the first time I had it in Eataly (Chicago), and it was amazing! Dried mushrooms sound really good, and I can imagine that the flavor would be more intense. I can't believe the ones you found at Whole Foods is so expensive! But then again, it's Whole Foods we're talking about...haha. Wonderful recipe, Monica!

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    1. I love going to Eataly (NYC), Monica! I haven't had the chance to actually eat there but I imagine it's amazing. Mushroom pastas and risottos are so good!

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