Making this was a fun experience because Giant was out of the pre-sliced "exotic mushroom" packages so I picked out a bunch of random ones, like a big bunch of oyster mushrooms that he swears is a Hen of the Woods and I am sure it was not, and some shiitakes for good measure. I could not find bucatini so I found some extra-long fusilli pasta. It was delicious but familiar. A quick look at my recipe index revealed why: we already made a Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce in December! It is pretty much the same, minus the chunks of Parmesan! Obviously since they're similar we loved both of them. This is what we have decided: We will use the Farfalle recipe, continue to use random mushrooms, and use the chunks of Parmesan from the Bucatini recipe. Excellent.
Bucatini with Mushrooms
Cooking Light, October 2009
Substitute long fusilli or fettuccine if you can't find bucatini. Dried porcini mushrooms and truffle oil supply rich earthiness. Use leftover truffle oil to drizzle over pizzas, polenta, or salad greens.
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms -- (about 1/2 ounce)
2/3 cup boiling water
8 ounces uncooked bucatini
3 1/2 teaspoons salt -- divided
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
8 ounces exotic mushroom blend -- coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves -- minced
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese -- divided
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon truffle oil
Sage sprigs -- (optional)
1. Rinse porcini thoroughly. Combine porcini and 2/3 cup boiling water in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain in a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup soaking liquid. Chop porcini.
2. Cook pasta with 1 tablespoon salt in boiling water 10 minutes or until al dente; drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, mushroom blend, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in porcini, sherry, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates.
4. Finely grate 1 ounce cheese; crumble remaining cheese. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in pasta, 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup reserved porcini soaking liquid, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup grated cheese, cream, chopped sage, and pepper; toss well to combine. Drizzle with oil; toss. Place about 1 1/4 cups pasta mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 1 tablespoon crumbled cheese. Garnish with sage sprigs, if desired.