pappardelle con porcini

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

pasta instructions:

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.

sauce instructions:

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.

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