On a recent holiday, a local Italian restaurant featured a version of this melt-in-your mouth pasta as its specialty. This was no small boast; people really did come from far and wide for the charm, the decor, the great drinks, and of course, the mushroom pasta.
This menu item was so insanely delicious, that out of a grand total of five nights, I had this meal three times - if you can’t splurge on holiday, when can you splurge?? Here’s my version. Feel free to lighten it up if you wish by reducing the olive oil and cream (or to go whole hog and enjoy every tasty bite).
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups roughly chopped mushrooms*
2-3 bulbs fresh garlic
3 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes
1 heaping tablespoon sea salt (for pasta water)
1 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
chilli peppers to season (optional)
300 grams Orecchiette Pasta
splash of white wine
1/4 cup of cream
*your choice here, but I recommend a blend of exotic mushrooms such as Shiitake, Chanterelle, Black Trumpet, Oyster etc. A great way to avoid the expense of fresh is to buy dried mushrooms and soak them in advance.
Prep all your ingredients and have them ready.
Boil water for pasta and add the salt. Cook pasta for 1 minute less than indicated on the package.
In a large skillet over medium high, heat the olive oil and brown the garlic.
Add the mushrooms, stirring them frequently, until they are ‘al dente’.
Mix in 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, chilli peppers, splash of wine, and simmer another two minutes.
Remove mushrooms from heat and blend in cream.
Toss cooked pasta and mushrooms in a large serving bowl and mix in the Italian parsley.
Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese.