I’m inspired by simplicity.
And when that simplicity is bathed in butter? Even better.
This pasta dish contains two kinds of mushrooms: dried porcini mushrooms as well as the more exotic Maitake mushroom, also called Hen of the Woods mushrooms, my newest discovery. Why dried mushrooms? Why not use all fresh? While the fresh mushrooms definitely have a delicate texture that the dried version can’t reproduce, it’s that rehydrating process that is the key to this recipe, namely what is leftover: mushroom water (mushroom juice?) The soaking liquid left after the mushrooms have softened is loaded with a robust, earthy flavor that would be a shame to waste. Some of that water gets added to the pan along with the mushrooms, making the sauce into, well, a sauce.
With a splash of lemon juice, a dash of parsley and red pepper flakes, and a flurry of freshly grated Pecorino cheese topping it all off, this dish comes together in a delightful symphony of flavors, rich and buttery yet light and delicate. Inspired by a local restaurant here in Nashville (the same place, the same meal actually, that inspired this Brussels Sprout Salad that you all loved so much), the result is incredible.
If you’ve never made homemade pasta before, I suggest you start out with a basic recipe, perhaps the one that came with your machine (or hand crank). I’ve posted my basic recipe before, such as in these Fresh Corn Ravioli, as well as published it in our book, you’ll just want to slice the pasta sheets into wide noodles instead of shaping them into ravioli.
Another tip? Make the effort to find 00 pasta or 00 semolina flour. It makes a world of difference; you’ve never had pasta so tender. However, you can also substitute fresh store bought linguine or fettuccine in this recipe if you’re short on time.
Wild Mushroom Papardelle
Yield: 3 servings
Total Time: 40 minutes