Fresh Pasta with a Crimini and Porcini Mushroom Sauce

My dad has always believed in the importance of using real ingredients in the kitchen, no matter what the dish; so if you want high quality taste, use high quality ingredients. Using real butter and real cream is essential to this dish! The quantities for this recipe are sufficient to feed a group of 6 hungry adults, so you will need to scale it back proportionately for a smaller yield. 

Recipe courtesy of Daniele and photos courtesy of Nina from Nina Polidoro Photography.

Prep Time: 40 mins. | Cook Time: 20 mins. | Serves: 6-8

Ingredients

1 ½ cups of 18% cream
150 g (6 0z) butter
1 cup chicken (or vegetable) stock
3 packages of fresh pasta
1 lb fresh crimini mushrooms
30 g dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 small onion
fresh parsley, grated parmesan cheese
salt, pepper (in Italian, this would be accompanied by “QB,” meaning “quanto basta” – “to your taste,” “as much as you like,” or “sufficiently”)

Method

1. Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes.
2. Clean and dry the crimini mushrooms. Chop mushrooms into large enough pieces that they can be found in the sauce (avoid chopping them too finely). Place into a bowl.
3. Finely chop a handful of fresh parsley.
4. Gently squeeze water from the porcini mushrooms, and collect 4-5 oz of the resulting mushroom juice; don’t use the grit in the bottom of the bowl! (You could also strain with a cheese cloth.)
5. Coarsely chop the soaked porcini mushrooms.
6. Finely chop ½ of a small onion.
7. Put on a big pot of water to boil – add a tablespoon of salt when the water starts simmering.
8. Set the table. Make it look pretty.
9. Melt butter in the pan on medium heat, bringing it to a sizzle.
10. Add onions, frying them until golden in colour – add the mushrooms, and bring the mixture to a high temperature. Allow this to cook for about 8 minutes, stirring regularly.
11. Add 3 pinches of parsley, and the mushroom juice (about 1 cup), chicken stock (1 cup – this could be substituted for vegetable stock, if you prefer), and cream (1 ½ cups).
12. Stir the sauce, and reduce to medium heat.
13. Add pepper to taste (or QB!)
14. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes once the cream has been added; it may look like a lot of sauce in comparison to the amount of pasta you’re using, but the pasta will soak up some of the sauce.
15. Add pasta to boiling water, stir regularly to ensure it doesn’t stick (for this quantity of fresh pasta, this takes approximately 5-7 minutes to reach el dente).
16. Strain the pasta and add to sauce in a serving bowl. Garnish pasta with fresh parsley, and add grated parmesan to taste.