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Pappardelle With Mushrooms + Crème Fraîche by Julia Busuttil Nishimura

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Recipe by Julia Busuttil Nishimura, thanks to our friends at The Design Files
@juliaostro

This pasta dish is pure comfort food. Good food and nice wine can really pull us through strange times, and pasta like this feels like a big hug.

You can use an assortment of mushrooms in this recipe – though using mostly Swiss browns can be a little more economical. You can add some shiitakes as they have a really punchy flavour, as well as some lovely pink oyster, meaty shimeji and chestnut mushrooms. It will still be delicious with just Swiss browns (or whatever is available), so don’t fret too much about finding lots of different mushroom types. If you have them, dried porcini add such a great depth of flavour and richness to the sauce, and are definitely worth using.

Any pasta shape you have will be more than fine here, but long noodles are generally best. This recipe uses pappardelle but something like bucatini, spaghetti or even fettuccine would be just as excellent!

MushroomPapardelle_photo-by-JuliaBusuttilNishimura4.JPG

Photography: Julia Busuttil Nishimura

INGREDIENTS

(Serves 4)

  • 10g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 400g pappardelle or any long pasta like bucatini or spaghetti
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 400g of assorted mushrooms, roughly torn or cut
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g crème fraîche
  • Large handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of a lemon
  • Grated parmesan cheese, to serve
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

MushroomPapardelle_photo-by-NoriNishimura3.JPG

Photography: Julia Busuttil Nishimura

METHOD

Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 100ml of boiling water. Set aside for 10 minutes so they can rehydrate.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of generously salted water.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large pan over medium-high heat and pour in the olive oil.

Add the herbs and mushrooms and stir to coat. Cook them for around 3 minutes or until they are nicely coloured and beginning to soften. Try and avoid stirring them too much, you want to get a little colour on them. I like to put in harder mushrooms, like Swiss browns and shiitake first, and then a minute later I add softer ones like oyster, shimeji and chestnut in. Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute further until softened, taking care it doesn’t burn. If the pan is looking a little dry, you can add some more olive oil – mushrooms soak up the oil rather quickly so you may need some more.

Take the porcini from the water, which should now be dark and wonderfully flavoured, and roughly chop the porcini. Add these to the mushrooms, along with the porcini soaking liquid and crème fraîche. Simmer for a few minutes until slightly reduced.

MushroomPapardelle_photo-by-JuliaBusuttilNishimura2.JPG

Photography: Julia Busuttil Nishimura

When the pasta is just under al dente, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water and then drain. Add the pasta to the sauce, along with a little of the pasta water. Continue to cook in the sauce until the pasta is al dente. If the sauce begins to dry out, add some more of the pasta water. Remove the hard herbs, the rosemary, bay and thyme, they’ve done their job now, and then stir in the parsley, lemon juice and zest. Season with sea salt and pepper and serve with plenty of grated parmesan and an extra drizzle of olive oil.

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