This is my interpretation of a classic Italian dish. I like to make it using dried egg fettuccine as they are tasty with nice bite, but you can use any regular dry pasta instead. Should you wish to use fresh egg pasta, then increase the quantities of the sauce a little as it will absorb more liquid - for 300g of fresh egg pasta use 600g chestnut mushrooms and 300ml of double cream. I also like to add dried porcini mushrooms but these are optional.
Preparation time 20 minutes.
Serves four as a starter
● 500g chestnut mushrooms or mixed wild mushrooms
● 10-15g dried porcini mushrooms
● 5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
● 1 finely chopped onion
● 2-3 crushed cloves of garlic
● Splash of white wine
● Pinch of dry chilli (optional)
● 200 ml double cream
● Small bunch of fresh parsley
● Small bunch of fresh thyme
● 300g dried egg fettuccine or 400g any dry pasta
● Salt and black pepper
● Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
● Wash the mushrooms and slice them. In a large non-stick frying pan, heat up the olive oil with the onion on medium heat.
● Cook the onion for 5 minutes until soft and then add the garlic, thyme, chilli, salt and pepper and the wine. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes.
● Once the wine has evaporated add the mushrooms and stir well. Leave them to cook on medium heat for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally until the liquid evaporates.
● In the meantime, break up the porcini mushrooms and soak for 5 minutes in enough hot water to cover them. Once soft, add the porcini to the other mushrooms and stir well. Sieve the soaking water through and add this as well.
● Cook until the mushrooms start turning golden and add the parsley – leaving a little bit for the very end. Add the cream to the mushrooms, stir well and leave to cook for a few more minutes. Turn off the flame. Keep covered.
● Fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. When itr boils, add a handful of salt, add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally until al dente.
● Tip: Just before draining the pasta, extract one cup of boiling water from the saucepan and put it to one side.
● Add the drained pasta to the pan with the mushrooms and cream on medium heat. Mix until the pasta is completely covered with the sauce.
● While stirring, slowly add the water you putaside earlier. The pasta will absorb the liquid. Add more water until it is creamy - you may not need it all.
● Serve immediately with the Parmesan, parsley and ground black pepper.