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Recipe: Fettucine with buffalo mozzarella, rocket and porcini mushrooms

Time: 20 minutes

Prep:

Cook:

Serves:

    Autumn is here and the mushroom season is underway. My father's hobby is mycology and as a child we picked porcini mushrooms in the woods outside Rome. A post-rain autumn day was perfect. This recipe uses dried porcini, but do try it with fresh – often called ceps here - if you can find them. I created this recipe one evening at friends' house, when we didn't know what to prepare. I raided the cupboard and fridge and this is what I came up with. We loved it, and it is now part of my repertoire.

    Time: 20 minutes. Serves 6 (starter) or 4 (main)

    Ingredients

    ● 50g dried porcini mushrooms
    ● 200ml hot water
    ● 4-5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    ● 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
    ● Small bunch of rosemary
    ● 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced OR a pinch of dry crushed chilli
    ● Splash of white wine
    ● 200g buffalo mozzarella, finely diced
    ● Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    ● 50g rocket
    ● 400g egg fettuccine, dried or fresh
    ● Salt and black pepper to taste

    Method

    ● Soak the dried porcini in the hot water for 10 minutes.
    ● Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large, deep frying pan. Add the rosemary, chilli, salt and pepper and a splash of white wine. Stir.
    ● Once the porcini have soaked, drain and squeeze them, reserving the water. Roughly chop and add to the frying pan and cook for a couple of minutes.
    ● Sieve the soaking water to remove any residue, then add it to the pan. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes stirring occasionally until the liquid reduces by half. Remove the rosemary stalk.
    ● Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add 2 handfuls of rock salt and the fettuccine. Cook in accordance with the pack instructions.
    ● Tip: Before draining the pasta, remove 1 cup of boiling water from the pan to use later to create a creamier sauce.
    ● Drain the fettuccine and add it to the mushrooms. Stir well over a medium heat, and, if dry, add some of the water you just put aside until you reach a creamy consistency.
    ● Transfer to a serving bowl and add the mozzarella, rocket, lemon juice and zest and pepper. Mix and serve immediately.

    Method
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