Sambal Spiced Porcini and Mixed Mushroom Farfalle

My husband and I love pasta. It’s our favorite comfort food and we have it quite often at home. This recipe is a staple in the house as we almost always have some mushrooms lingering in the refrigerator and some dried porcinis tucked away in the pantry. I usually buy them while abroad as they are much cheaper but you can easily find them in specialty gourmet shops such as Bacchus Epicerie, Santis and Terry’s Delicatessen and even upscale supermarkets like Rustans carry them now. It’s a fairly easy recipe to make and quite quick it just takes a bit of practice to get that perfect not too watery not too creamy texture. THe bulk of the sauce comes from the reduced mushroom juices and the pasta water – not from the cream. The cream is only used in the end as a finisher. There are three secret ingredients here that make it really delicious – it’s the butter, fresh cracked pepper and the sambal oelek. The butter really hugs all the earthy flavors and adds a silkiness to the dish. The fresh cracked pepper should be used generously especially in the reducing and cooking process as the heat really makes it fragrant, kind of like in a classic Caccio e Peppe. The spicy sambal add a nice mild heat to the dish cutting all the richness. The use of dill may seem odd but it is a beautiful complement to the mushrooms. Trust me! This is a wonderful indulgent recipe that would impress guests in a formal setting when plated nicely and can also be a generous rustic dish when cooked in large portions and left in a nice looking casserole. When we are a larger group I usually serve this in my Le Creuset pot and let guests serve themselves with a wooden spoon. It’s also great on a buffet also left in the pot and on top of an individual induction burner set to warm. If you’re doing this make the sauce little watery so it doesn’t dry out completely and give it a stir every so often when you pass by. It’s a guest favorite and perfect even for vegetarians.

porcini farfalle 2

Sambal Spiced Porcini and Mixed Mushroom Farfalle

Serves 2-3


100g fresh brown button mushrooms thinly sliced

100g shimeiji mushrooms separated

100g portobello mushrooms thinly sliced

1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms

1/2 white onion thinly sliced

1 small clove of garlic finely minced

1/4 cup white wine

1 tsp sambal oelek

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp cooking cream

170g farfalle pasta (save the pasta water)

salt and fresh cracked pepper

olive oil

some dill for garnish

parmesan cheese for garnish and serving

Cook the pasta as per instructions to al dente – make sure the pasta water is well seasoned with salt and please reserve some when you strain the pasta. This will be used to make the sauce. It is important that the pasta is al dente or even slightly harder than al dente as it will continue to cook in the pan with the sauce. In a deep skillet (it’s better if its not a non-stick pan so you can make a nice sauce out of the pan juices) heat up some olive oil on medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic till soft and a light golden color. Increase heat a little and add the mushrooms making sure not to over crowd the pan. In the meantime boil some water, about 1/2 cup and soak the dried porcinis in the water till softened. Allow the mushrooms to cook thoroughly, they will reduce in volume. Remove porcinis from the water – PLEASE KEEP THE WATER. Slice them and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Turn down the heat a little to medium. Add the water of the porcini mushrooms. Allow the water to reduce almost completely. Deglaze the pan with the white wine scraping the bottom of the pan to release all the caramelized juices. Add the cooked farfalle pasta and toss quickly. Add some pasta water, about 1/4 cup to bind the pasta and the mushrooms together. It is important to use the pasta water as it has the starch that will thicken the sauce. Add fresh cracked pepper, the butter and the samba. Toss well. Finish with the cream. Taste and season. You can add more butter for more richness. Serve immediately with some fresh shaved parmesan and some extra grated parmesan on the side. Top with some fresh dill as well. You could add some truffle oil but I feel like the dish is so rich and delicious on its own it doesn’t need anymore layers. Just make sure you use some good nutty parmegianno reggiano to finish it off!


1 Comment

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.