Pasta wild mushrooms is magic.
Once you include wild mushrooms in pasta or any dish, you are just about all set!
Guys, here’s all I do in this pasta wild mushrooms.
And this is really all it takes. On second thought, I want to discuss the oil first:
Let me start by telling you what NOT to do:
Don’t buy the insanely expensive deceptively and dishonestly called truffle oil, with not a solitary drop of truffle in it. I buy equally luxurious porcini powder online, just to make sure I get the best price, a whole pound of it. It doesn’t really need a kosher certification, but it often just happens to have one. It will at first seem expensive, until you realize a little goes a long way, a terrific investment. Just a few drops of the infused oil will make your omelets, mashed potatoes, mushroom-based soups, risotto etc… heavenly! Addictive!
You can also make your own porcini oil:
Nothing to it! This is what will get you the most bang for your buck! Heat up a quart of extra-virgin olive oil gently in a sauce pan, with 1/2 cup porcini powder, until it just barely reaches boiling, then promptly turn off the flame. Your house will fill with a smell that might send you swooning. Pour the mixture into a glass jar. The powder will settle in the bottom, that’s OK. Store the oil at room temperature.
For one pound pasta wild mushrooms:
I love soba noodles, and spelt noodles, but of course you can use your favorite pasta, including gluten-free. Cook the noodles according to manufacturer’s instructions, with a few added drops oil (any oil, no need to use an expensive one) and a little salt. Make absolutely sure not to overcook, or you will get a sticky mess. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and rinse the noodles under cold water.
Heat up 1/2 cup porcini oil in a large skillet No porcini oil? That’s OK, use very good extra virgin olive oil). Saute 1 1/2 pounds sliced wild mushrooms – whatever wild mushrooms you can afford is OK, no need to set yourself back – until all wild mushrooms liquids evaporate.
Toss the wild mushrooms, oil and all, with the pasta, the reserved cooking liquid, salt and freshly ground pepper too taste, and sprinkle with lots of minced flat parsley or sliced chives, and some freshly grated parmesan or manchego. That’s the whole story: It’s fantastic cold or hot!
If you get lucky and find (at price clubs for example) a good dry wild mushroom mixture at an affordable price, you are in for an even greater treat. Soak them a few hours in hot water. Strain the mushrooms with a very fine mesh strainer, saving the soaking water, reduce this soaking water until it is very concentrated (about 1 cup). Wash the mushrooms in cold water to rid them of any leftover grit, and chop them roughly in the food processor. Now proceed just as above, but simmer them in olive oil longer than if you were using fresh mushrooms, to rid them of their chewiness, until tender. At serving time, toss the pasta with the mushrooms and the reduced soaking liquid.