Thursday, October 18, 2007
As I said in my cream of four mushroom soup post, you can get a second dish using the soup and with minimal additional cooking simply by adding in noodles and turning it into a pasta. But instead of four mushroom pasta, which just sounds so blase, doesn't "quattro porcini pasta" sound so much better? :P
Of course, you don't have to make the soup at all, you can just make a really huge pot of pasta. I divided my soup in half and used half a package of fettucine noodles for this dish. Just add another tblsp of cornstarch to the milk if you want an even thicker consistency for cream pasta. Top with parmesan cheese and basil. But in case you didn't read the cream of four mushroom soup post (and why wouldn't you?), this recipe is for a really large pot so halve it if you're only cooking for two.
And of course, they don't have to be my four kinds of mushrooms, they can be any four you wish, or just all cremini mushrooms even.
Quattro Porcini Pasta (Four Mushroom Pasta)
1 package crimini mushrooms (brown or white of your choice), washed and sliced
2 king oyster mushrooms, washed and sliced
6 or however many you want of shiitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
3 or so of monkey head mushrooms, soaked and sliced. I found them pretty strong so don't use too much or they'll be overpowering.
1 medium onion, diced
salt, to taste
2 cups or so milk or cream, depending on your preference
1 to 2 tblsp corn starch to thicken the cream sauce
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
soy sauce, to taste
1 package fettucine noodles, boiled and drained
parsley, to serve
parmesan cheese, to serve
First soak the dried shiitake and monkey head mushrooms in very hot water so they'll be rehydrated. This takes at least 15 minutes to half an hour. Get your tap water as hot as possible or use boiling water to speed up this process.
While they're soaking, wash and slice the crimini and oyster mushrooms. Then finely dice the onion.
Turn the heat to medium-high, add a few drizzles of olive oil into a large stock pot and saute the onions until they just begin to soften and turn translucent. Add the sliced crimini and king oyster mushrooms to the pot and saute. I usually add a few sprinkles of salt at this point so the mushrooms have time to absorb it.
The shiitake and monkey head mushrooms should be hydrated by this point. With your eye on the pot to make sure nothing burns, quickly slice the remaining mushrooms and add them to the pot as well.
While the mushrooms are cooking, dissolve 2 tblsp of cornstarch in 1 cup milk, or 1 tblsp if you're using cream. When all the mushrooms have softened, pour the milk into the pan along with 1 more cup of milk. Turn heat down to medium-low and let the sauce simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes so that it can thicken. Taste and add salt or even a few dashes of soy sauce if you wish. If the sauce still isn't as thick as you'd like, dissolve another spoonful of cornstarch but in a smaller amount of milk and add that into the pot.
You can boil and drain the pasta ahead of time, but this is usually when I start boiling water for the pasta. Then when the pasta is done, instead of draining it into a colander and then rinsing away the pasta water, I use a pasta spoon and spoon the pasta into the pot of sauce. The just-wet noodles actually blend more easily with the sauce, and the little bit of extra pasta water helps thicken the sauce as well. Add grated parmesan cheese at this point if you want a parmesan cheesy cream pasta sauce. Or serve with grated parmesan cheese on top and a few sprinkles of parsley.