Crimini Pasta by Daniele and Nina Polidoro
(NC) 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!
• 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”)
• Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes.
• 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.
• Finely chop a handful of fresh parsley.
• 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.)
• Coarsely chop the soaked porcini mushrooms.
• Finely chop ½ of a small onion.
• Put on a big pot of water to boil – add a tablespoon of salt when the water starts simmering.
• Set the table. Make it look pretty.
• Melt butter in the pan on medium heat, bringing it to a sizzle.
• 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.
• 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).
• Stir the sauce, and reduce to medium heat.
• Add pepper to taste (or QB!)
• 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.
• 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).
• Strain the pasta and add to sauce in a serving bowl. Garnish pasta with fresh parsley, and add grated parmesan to taste.
For best results, enjoy with loved ones, and follow with espresso & a delicious homemade dessert. Buon appetito!