posted by: audra
quite possibly one of my most favorite things to do ever is making pasta. sort of like making your own chicken stock or marshmallows. very satisfying.
friday evening i was quailing in agony trying to decide on dinner. in a panic, i suggested one of my most loved recipes, pappardelle con porcini. super easy, this one. i’m not certain why i love it so much, but it’s likely due to the silky, fat ribbons of pappardelle. i just love long & wide noodles. really, all sexual innuendos aside, who doesn’t?
sigh. anyway. the grocery trip was a nightmare, as usual. this particular grocer didn’t have any flat-leaf parsley in stock. now, i detest curly parsley. i hate it so much. i think i hate it more than sam hates heelys…really! but i had to settle. and this store did not have a single porcini mushroom in sight. so, again, i settled. on creminis. it was either that, or white buttons…
but moving on…this little gem is from the darling lidia bastianich. i see her show on pbs occasionally, lidia’s italy, & i’m totally in love with her. so cute. she’s the grandmother i dream of having.
okay, ready? it’s a long one. pour your drink now. here we go…
pappardelle con porcini
papardelle with fresh porcini mushrooms
for the pasta:
2 cups unbleached flour, sifted
1/4 tsp. good kosher salt
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. olive oil
1 tbs. warm water, or more, if needed
for the sauce:
1/4 cup porcini mushrooms, trimmed & sliced…or, of course, creminis or whatever wild mushroom you have lying around
4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed…i crushed & sliced mine
good kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs. unsalted butter
3 tbs. chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano…and for god’s sake, get the real parmigiano-reggiano
in a food processor, combine the flour & salt & pulse a few times to blend. mix the eggs with the oil & add to the mixture. turn the machine on, & gradually drizzle in the water, beginning with the smaller amount. put too much in, & it will be gluey. stop & feel the dough; it should adhere when squeezed, but shouldn’t feel sticky. continue to knead the dough in the processor until satiny-smooth. transfer the dough to a bowl, cover & let rest at room temperature for about an hour before rolling out.
cut the dough in four parts. working with one part at a time, roll the dough out at successively narrower settings on a manual pasta machine, ending at the next to last setting. using a knife (i used a pizza cutter), cut the rolled dough crosswise in 1 1/2-inch wide strips. my strips were 38” long, & i cut them in half lengthwise, and then half again crosswise. i prefer them that way, but whatever. let them dry slightly where ever you’ve cut them, for about 30 minutes.
in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. add half the mushrooms & garlic, season with salt & pepper & cook over high heat, turning the porcini occasionally until lightly browned. transfer them to a plate & repeat with the remaining oil, garlic & porcini. [here she says to discard the garlic, & i think that’s just wrong. use your own judgment. i also prefer to caramelize the mushrooms for several minutes before moving them…this means placing them in the hot oil & not touching them for at least 4 minutes, otherwise they will steam, not brown.] meanwhile, boil a large pot of water, toss in some salt & your pappardelle. it shouldn’t take them more than 3 or 4 minutes to be al dente.
return the porcini to the pan & add the butter & parsley. add the stock & simmer over moderate heat for one minute. season with good kosher salt & freshly ground pepper. add pasta to the sauce, along with the parmesan & toss gently.