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wild mushroom pasta

Wild Mushroom Italian Kissed Pasta

This recipe is dedicated to my Italian amici buddies worldwide that had the patience and passion to show this New Jersey girl a few things about cooking. Grazie mille!

wild mushroom pasta

Certo! (Of Course!) Another Italian Influenced (Wild Mushroom Pasta) Recipe

Just two months ago, I published a Healthier Vodka Pasta Sauce recipe, which has been getting a lot of traffic (thanks to readers like you) who share my recipes with your social media peeps (Grazie mille!).


Again, I have moved into an Italian creation-dish for this month’s Recipe Redux recipe challenge, this time adapting an Italian recipe to imitate (one of many) memorable meals I shared with memorable Italians.

Oh, those Italians. Hang around them long enough and you cannot help to be enthusiastic about boiling up a big pot salted water, throwing in a unique looking bunch of pasta, and making a sauce to kill for (dying with good taste of course!).

Enjoy this recipe. The origins are from my graduate school days in Colorado, where I learned the art of cooking Italian from some of best international Italian students on campus. One of my friends showed me the freshness and look of using peas in a pasta sauce, so this wild mushroom recipe has this kiss of spring peas. Not only do the peas add texture and color, they add a bunch of good nutrition too.

And shh…you may have heard, but in case you didn’t know: mushrooms are one of the strongest power foods you can eat. Consuming mushrooms year-round, and using the dried varieties to have in your basic food pantry is another step toward eating a healthy and immune boosting diet. Look for Shiitake, Enoki, Maitake, Oyster mushrooms for the most health benefits, although in this Italian recipe I used Cepes, a wild mushroom you can find in Northern Europe, called Porcini in Italy or Cepes in France.

{Recipe Redux} Using Dried Mushrooms As Part of a Meal

In Italy and France it is ‘officially’ mushroom picking time and this means trips to the forest to sneak under the leaves to look for these treasured tubers. But if you don’t have time or a forest nearby to go out and pick wild mushrooms, you can do what I did and do: buy dried mushrooms. Not only can you enjoy these dried wild ‘vegetables’ year-round, but you can economically add a unique taste to many recipes.

The next step is knowing how to use dried mushrooms. You’ll need to reconstitute (soak) these mushrooms for at least 20 minutes in water, then rinse them a few times in cold water, and use them in a sauce as a substitute for fresh mushrooms. Use them correctly and you will find that dried mushrooms will quickly be a part of your essential kitchen foods.

Note: Some chefs recommend pouring boiling water over the mushrooms to reconstitute them. Others suggest using room temperature /warm water to keep the flavor of the mushrooms intact. After some research, I have decided to use warm water rather than boiling water to soak the mushrooms and to keep the most flavor intact and here is why:

How to Prepare Dried Mushrooms for Cooking

Tips On Cooking Italian

Before we get to the recipe, here are some tips that I learned from my Italian friends which add the Italian Kiss to each dish:

  • Fat adds flavor: One of the key ingredients in Italian cooking is fat. It doesn’t have to be abundant, but fat adds taste to a dish. Even a small amount of cream can change a sauce from good to great.
  • Vegetables in abundance: Compared to other Europeans, Italians eat more fruits and vegetables. Mix the cooked vegetables into a pasta dish and you have a primo piatto or a light dinner.
  • Cooking al dente: Pasta should be cooked at dente, which means to the bite. Do not overcook pasta, it is done when it is done. Al dente!
  • Final mix of the pasta with the sauce is molto importante: When the sauce is done and the pasta is drained, put the drained pasta directly into the sauce and mix it to coat all the pasta with the sauce. Serve this dish immediately.
  • Use fresh Parmesan cheese: Do I need to say more? Freshly grate Parmesan cheese for the most flavor.

wild mushroom pasta

Wild Mushroom Pasta Recipe

Ingredients (serves 4 hungry adults)

  • 1 ounce of dried wild mushrooms
  • 1 pound of linguine
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups of frozen spring green peas
  • A good handful of fresh chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup Freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup ‘juice’ from the reconstituted/soaked dried mushrooms
  • 2 thinly sliced pieces of proscuitto (or very lean bacon) chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Preparation

1.Place dried mushrooms in a pint-size bowl and pour warm water over them. These mushrooms need to sit 20-30 minutes.wild mushroom pasta

2. In a large pasta cooking pot, heat up a large quantity of water to cook the pasta.

2. While the pasta water is starting to heat up to boiling, gather and prepare the rest of the ingredients: mince the garlic, grate the cheese, chop the proscuitto, measure out the peas, chop the parsley.

3. In a large and deep sauté pan, heat up the butter and olive oil over medium heat. When these fats have melted, add the minced garlic, and sautée until the garlic is soft, approximately 3 minutes. Do not let garlic burn. wild mushroom pasta

4. Then add the proscuitto, lower heat, and continue to cook under low heat until the proscuitto (or bacon) is cooked (this takes just a few minutes, so watch the pan).

wild mushroom pasta

5. Check the water for the pasta. Is it boiling? Add two teaspoons of salt and add the linguine and the peas into the boiling water to cook. (Note that you will cook the pasta and peas together to save time and for additional flavor). If the water hasn’t boiled yet keep making the sauce. Keep checking water again and add pasta and peas when water is ready.

wild mushroom pasta

6. With a spoon, remove the mushrooms from the liquid in the bowl, putting the mushrooms into a strainer and rinsing them a few times under cold water.wild mushroom pasta

7. Add the mushrooms to the sauté pan. Mix thoroughly. Then add the parsley and mix again. Add salt and pepper.

wild mushroom pasta

wild mushroom pasta

8.Very carefully, with a large spoon, remove a half cup of the top part of the mushroom liquid. Do not move the bowl too much, the sediment from the mushrooms is on the bottom of the bowl and you do not want this in your sauce. Add this half-cup of mushroom liquid to your sauce.

wild mushroom pasta

9. Add the heavy cream and stir into the sauce.

wild mushroom pasta

10. Add the Parmesan cheese. Mix sauce throughly. Taste and adjust for seasonings.

wild mushroom pasta

wild mushroom pasta

11. In the meantime, make sure the pasta and peas are finished cooking al dente (Good quality linguine takes about 10 minutes to cook, check your pasta on cooking times). Drain the pasta and peas and add it into the sauce. Mix pasta and sauce throughly making sure that the linguine is well-covered with all the sauce and the mushrooms on the bottom of the pan are mixed in the whole dish. wild mushroom pasta

wild mushroom pasta

 

wild mushroom pasta

12. Serve immediately with optional topped cheese and a few springs of parsley.

wild mushroom pastaBuon Appetito!

I hope you enjoy this Italian Kissed Wild Mushroom Pasta Recipe to move into the cooler fall season. Have you reached the end and want to see more recipes like this? Why not subscribe to the BrightonYourHealth monthly newsletter and article updates.  Click on the link below. Your email will always remain private.

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Inspired on more ways to add dehydrated foods in dishes? Here are my Recipe Redux dietitian recipes.


Warmly, Mary

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4 Responses to Wild Mushroom Italian Kissed Pasta

  1. Rachel @ The Conscious Dietitian October 6, 2014 at 05:30 #

    wow looks so amazing! feel like that right now!

  2. Lety September 24, 2014 at 16:32 #

    Grande Mary!

    That’s a delicious recipe!
    I’ve to admit that I don’t like mushrooms. When I was a 3 years old little girl, I suffered from gastrointestinal aches (and related consequences) a whole night! Since that night I cannot even smell mushrooms! But, I always advice them! They’re a precious source of nutrients with basically low calories amount. 🙂

    Thank you for your recipe!

    Le*

    • mbrighton September 25, 2014 at 15:07 #

      Hi Le*! Sounds like you had a food intoxication from the mushrooms. Poor you. These experiences keep us away from these foods for a long time….

  3. Jessica @ Nutritioulicious September 23, 2014 at 15:14 #

    I definitely don’t use dried mushrooms enough! Thanks for the reminder!

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