Cookbook Profile

Pappardelle with Wild Mushrooms,
Rosemary, and Light Tomato Sauce

Serves eight as a side dish or four as a main course



Pasta is a weeknight staple in our house, though I must confess I do not have the time to make it from scratch. But I discovered at the local cheese shop several brands of dried fresh pasta (Antonio Marella, Rustichetta d'Abruzzo; see the Source Guide in the book) that have taken our favorite mainstay to new heights. Pappardelle is usually hand-cut because of its zigzag edges; it is especially suited to this recipe, in which the soft ribbons are bathed in a savory, satisfying tomato sauce lightened with broth and a touch of cream.

1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over low heat and saute the shallot and garlic until fragrant and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine, increase the heat to medium, and simmer until the wine has reduced by three-quarters, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rosemary and continue cooking until the sawtr has thickened, about 15 minutes. Add the broth and cook until thickened slightly, about 10 more minutes. Stir in the cream, if desired; simmer for one more minute, and season with salt and pepper.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

3. Transfer the sauce to a blender and, carefully holding a towel over the lid to prevent splattering, blend the sauce; keep warm.

4. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until it is tender but still al dente; drain (do not rinse) it and set aside.

5. While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat and saute the mushrooms until they are golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season them lightly with salt and pepper.

6. Add the tomato sauce and pasta to the skillet, tossing to blend. With a large serving fork, twirl the pasta and transfer it to serving bowls. Top each portion with extra sauce and grated Parmesan cheese.


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This page created August 2008