Everyone needs a few favourite "quick cook" recipes to get them through the busy days. Pasta is certainly one of those dishes I will always turn to when I want to whip up a quick meal for the family. And when I say quick, I meant lesser ingredients needed, lesser time needed to get it from the stove to the dinner table. So today, l want to introduce this simple mushroom pasta that uses Porcini mushrooms to "empower" the whole dish. As most of us might have already know, Porcini is a wild mushroom, although it is sold commercially, it is very difficult to cultivate. Thus that explains the slightly steeper pricing. The fragrance of the mushroom actually intensifies more when it is dried, much like other mushrooms like Shiitake. Porcini is commonly used in soups, risotto and of course pastas, thus we often see them appearing in Italian dishes.
I have actually always wanted to try out cooking porcini mushrooms. So when I saw it selling at selling at Huber's Butchery at Dempsey Hill, it didn't took me long to place it in my shopping basket.
And since I didn't want to mask away the original flavour of the mushroom, I chose to cook it in the simplest form, just with cream pasta.
Recipe for Porcini Cream Pasta (Serves 2-3)
100 - 120 g dried porcini mushroom
1 small onion, peeled and sliced thinly
4 - 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and finally diced
6 - 8 cremini mushrooms, sliced (brown button mushrooms)
2 tbsp salted french butter (if no french butter, other salted butter is fine too)
120-130 ml fresh cooking cream
Soaking water of the porcini mushroom (about 3/4 cup - 1 cup)
1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
Salt, fresh ground pepper and sugar to taste.
3 rolls of dried egg noodles (Use any brand you fancy)
(Optional protein side, you can choose pork or salmon
1 boneless, skinless chicken thigh
- Soak the dried porcini in a bowl of warm water. Leave it to soften up to 1 hour. Remember DO NOT THROW away the soaking liquid. It will be used for the pasta later.
- In a pan over medium low fire, add butter in and let it slowly melt down. Add minced garlic and onion in. Cook till onions are soften and the mixture is aromatic.
- Squeeze dry the porcini from its soaking liquid and set aside. Once the onions has soften, add in both the mushrooms. Then season it with fresh ground pepper and salt.
- Once the mushrooms cooked down, add in another tablespoon of butter. This is to make a rue to thicken the whole mixture. So add in a tbsp of plain flour. Stir in to cook the flour for a minute. Once that is done, slowly pour in the soaking mushroom liquid, whisk till combined.
- Let the whole mushroom mixture simmer for a few minutes at low fire. In the meantime, cook the dried pasta in some boiling water.
- While the pasta is boiling, add the cooking cream into the mushroom mixture.
- Stir it in till everything is well combined. Once the pasta is al dente, remove from the boiling water and straight into the mushroom sauce.
- Toss together till the noodles are well coated with the mushroom cream. Dish up and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.
Serve the pasta immediately. You can have it as is. I actually find the mushrooms hearty good enough to go alone with the noodles. But if you want something more substantial, feel free to cook some protein like pan seared salmon or a pan fried crispy chicken thigh like mine. :)
I seasoned the chicken thigh and coat with plain flour, pan fry till crispy, simple as that. The whole meal got more substantial of course and my kids loves pasta and fried chicken, sure win...
Do try this out and don't be intimidated by a foreign ingredient that you've never used or come close to using. You never know how easy and delicious your next home cooked meal will be until you try it out yourself. ;)