Loaded with flavor, perfectly creamy, balanced and incredibly satisfying. This pasta dish was inspired by my trip to Sardinia during my studies at The Culinary Institute of America. We stayed at The Hotel Miramonti just outside of Seulo and it was an absolute dream. On the first night of our stay we had a mushroom pasta dish that was the best bite of my life. I absolutely love food memories, but recreating them can be very tricky, especially when it was far from home using local ingredients.
The reason that I finally decided after all these years to try to recreate this dish was that I was able to visit the Westport Farmer’s Market this week. I found Seacoast Mushrooms which is out of Mystic, CT. The selection was an absolute dream and I picked up some Piopinno, Blue Oyster and Hen of the Woods. Now, I know these mushrooms are not the same varieties that were in my dream dish in Sardinia. I also knew upon sight that they were incredibly special and had to get them into a dish asap.
My husband couldn’t get over how flavorful and balanced this dish was. He said that he was so impressed that a pasta dish could leave him so fully satisfied, no meat needed. Mushrooms are also a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The dish also happens to come together very quickly, so… here it is.
Large stock pot
Large sauté pan
2-3T Olive Oil (can also use butter or bacon fat)
2 shallots minced
4 garlic cloves minced
1/2t dried thyme (rub between your hands before putting in the dish to wake it up)
pinch crushed red pepper if desired
10oz mixed mushrooms (cut as you like them, I pulled mine apart)
1/4-1/2c white wine
1c stock of your choice (preferably homemade)
3/4c heavy cream
1/2c Mascarpone cheese
1c microplaned Pecorino Romano
Salt and pepper to taste
1lb Artisanal Pasta
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. When boiling, add in pasta and cook to al dente.
2. Meanwhile, in the large sauté pan over medium heat, heat your oil and add in shallots and garlic with a pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper. Heat just a couple of minutes until soft. Stir in the thyme and crushed red pepper if using. Toss in your mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally until slightly golden, about 5 minutes.
3. Add in your wine, which will cook down almost immediately, as it does add in your stock and simmer a couple of minutes until it reduces to just a little bit of liquid then take the pan off the heat. Right before your pasta is ready stir in the cream and mascarpone.
4. Using a spider add the pasta to the sauté pan and stir. Then stir in the cheese and season to taste as desired (you may not need any additional salt). If you would like to thin the sauce you should use the starchy pasta water. Serves 4-5 as an entrée.
I hope you try this. Even though it may be hard to find these particular mushrooms, you totally don’t need these exact ones. You will be very happy with your dish using Cremini, Shiitake, Maitake, Porcini, Portobello… Using a few different varieties will give you a more dynamic flavor. Also, feel free to increase the amount of mushrooms, use different shapes of pasta and save any mushroom stems in the freezer for your next stock, their umami magic is so powerful!