Ragu PORCINI

Here we have a recipe from my favorite cookbook of 2022 „Mezcla“ by Ixta Belfrage. She is the daughter of the just died wine-journalist Niclolas Belfrage/British Master of Wine and specialist for italian wines.

Ingredients

  • 40g dried porcini (cep)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 10-20g fresh parsley, chopped
  • ⅓ tsp fine salt
  • 1½ tbsp tomato paste
  • about 50 twists of freshly ground black pepper (or less)
  • 300g dried tagliatelle nests (me: cep tagliatelle)
  • 40g parmesan, very finely grated, plus extra to serve
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 200g porcini soaking liquid
  • 200-250g pasta cooking water

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl, cover the porcini with hot water and leave to soak for 30-60 minutes. Drain, reserving 200g of the soaking liquid.

  1. Very finely chop the porcini to mince consistency. Also chopp parsley and garlic

  1. Put the oil, garlic, chilli flakes, parsley and fine salt into a cold, large saute pan on a medium-low heat. Very gently fry for 5 minutes until soft and lightly golden, turning the heat down if the garlic starts to brown.

  1. Increase the heat to medium-high, then add the chopped porcini, tomato paste and plenty of pepper.

  1. Stir-fry for 3 minutes. Then set the pan aside while you boil the pasta (optional). You could make these 5 steps around 1-2h before, if you like.

  1. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving around 200g of the pasta water.

  2. Return the saute pan with the porcini to a medium-high heat, then add the 200g of pasta water and the reserved 200g of porcini soaking liquid. Stir and bring to a simmer.

  1. Once simmering, leave to bubble away for 3 minutes. Add half the parmesan to the pan, stirring until it has melted before adding the rest.

  1. Lower the heat to medium, then stir in the cream, followed by the drained tagliatelle.

  1. Combine everything for 2min

  1. Serve with extra parmesan on top.

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