From Delia’s Complete How to Cook
1 lb 2 oz (500 g) penne rigate
1 lb (450 g) mixed fresh mushrooms (flat, chestnut, shiitake or mixed wild mushrooms, for example), finely chopped
½ oz (10 g) dried porcini mushrooms
9 fl oz (250 ml) crème fraîche
3 tablespoons milk
2 oz (50 g) butter
4 large shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ whole nutmeg, grated
lots of freshly grated Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), to serve
salt and freshly milled black pepper
First pop the porcini in a small bowl, then heat the milk, pour it over the mushrooms and leave them to soak for 30 minutes. Then heat the butter in a medium frying pan over a gentle heat, stir in the shallots and let them cook gently for 5 minutes.
Next, strain the porcini into a sieve lined with kitchen paper, reserving the soaking liquid, and squeeze the porcini dry. Then chop them finely and add them to the pan, along with the fresh mushrooms and the balsamic vinegar. Next, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Give it all a good stir, then cook gently, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, until all the liquid has evaporated.
About 15 minutes before the mushrooms are ready, put the pasta on to cook (see How to cook perfect pasta, below). Then, 2 minutes before the pasta is cooked, mix the crème fraîche into the mushrooms with the soaking liquid, and warm through. Drain the pasta in a colander, return it to the hot pan and quickly mix in the mushroom mixture, then place the pasta back on a gentle heat so it continues to cook for 1 more minute while it absorbs the sauce. Take it to the table in a hot serving bowl and hand the Parmesan round separately.
I have been having way too much meat this weekend, largely because of my Friday dinner at Hawksmoor which ended up with me eating almost 800g of steak. Anyways, I decided to tone down the meat intake and just have something vegetarian (fine, it’s not really vegetarian because i added some bacon to it).
I think the trick with cooking mushrooms for risotto and pasta is to balance the sharp taste of the mushrooms, this recipe uses balsamic vinegar to do that and I added some flat leaf parsley to further moderate the taste.