The earthy combination of smoky pancetta, mixed wild mushrooms with a touch of cream, thyme and fresh egg pasta makes for a beautiful heart and belly-warming dish for a chilly evening.
As we begin to store away our summer dresses, shorts, and sandals and pull out autumn knits, socks, and boots, this recipe is a sweet reminder of all the wonderful things about cooler nights, grey skies, and winter chills. I hope you enjoy curling up with a bowl of my mixed mushie and pancetta pasta as much as I do.
300g mushrooms, sliced (such as swiss brown or button)
100g dried mixed mushrooms (such as pine, shitake, king brown, or field)
¼ cup thyme leaves
150g pancetta, thinly sliced
500g fresh egg pappadelle pasta
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 small French shallots, roughly chopped
6 tbsp pouring cream
2 cups baby spinach, rinsed
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup fresh parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Garlic flowers, optional for garnish
Parmesan, to serve
To rehydrate the dried mushrooms, boil some water in a kettle and pour over the dried mushrooms in a bowl. Allow the mushies to soak in the water for at least 20 minutes. Reserve the water for adding to the pasta later.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat, toss in the sliced pancetta and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, shallots, thyme and mushrooms – fresh and rehydrated – cook until golden and garlic is tender, approx. 1-2 minutes.
Add the chopped parsley then pour in the cream and add the cinnamon. Continue to stir and cook for another minute or so, until the cream begins to boil, then add a splash of the reserved mushroom water, reduce the heat and let simmer for a minutes before removing from the heat. Add the lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season to taste.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Cook the pasta until al dente. Toss through the mushroom mixture along with the baby spinach. Toss gently until pasta is well coated and the spinach has wilted. Season with a little extra salt and pepper and serve hot with extra parmesan and garlic flowers.