Lisa Bell has adored mushrooms her entire life, growing up in the woods with a father obsessed with finding morels. If not feeling well, this dish is what she requests as a restorative. Cooking the pasta while stirring in boiling broth that is mostly absorbed (like making risotto) yields a creamy sauce without adding much fat. The starch from the pasta acts as a thickener. Quality Parmesan cheese is a must. It can easily be made into a vegetarian dish by using all mushroom stock or vegan with a sprinkle of Brewers’ Yeast or faux hard cheese. Chopped parsley or fresh thyme are nice additions as is bit of dry sherry to deglaze shallots, but try it plain the first time you make it. Sometimes simple is sublime.
Related Post: Homemade Stock: Kitchen Alchemy Here in the kitchen of the TwoJunes, we practice a kind of rough magic on the days we make stock. Our precious “stockpile” of poultry carcasses, limp carrots, slightly wilted celery stalks, withered mushrooms and forlorn parsley stems bubble contentedly in the big pot along with garlic, onion and fresh herbs from the garden.
The rehydrated dried mushrooms and the cooked fresh mushrooms and head of cooked garlic from the Many Mushroom Stock recipe
- 1 Tbs. butter, oil, bacon fat or schmaltz
- 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 cups Many Mushroom Stock
- 1 ½ cups Chicken Stock
- 8 ounces penne pasta
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
- Chop the plumped dried mushrooms and halve the whole, cooked mushrooms (roughly 3 cups.) Squeeze the cooked garlic cloves from the papery husk onto the mushrooms; set aside.
- Heat the fat in large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until lightly golden, 5 minutes.
- Add the mushroom-garlic mixture. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes..
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the mushroom and chicken stocks. Bring to a boil.
- Add the pasta. Cook, stirring constantly until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, 16-18 minutes.
- Add the Parmesan and cook 1 more minute or until absorbed/melted into sauce.
- Sprinkle with additional Parmesan before serving.
Yield: Makes 2-3 main dish servings
Recipe courtesy of TwoJunes, Lisa Bell and Nicole Rees