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Mixed Mushroom Straccatto

prep 15 mins, plus soaking cook 25–30 mins
  • 15 g (½ oz) dried porcini or mixed mushrooms
  • 300 ml (½ pint) boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 300 g (10 oz) small chestnut mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 400 g (13 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250 g (8 oz) pasta shells
  • basil leaves
  • Parmesan shavings
  • salt and pepper

Soak the dried mushrooms in the boiling water for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring until just beginning to brown. Stir in the garlic and fresh mushrooms and fry for 2–3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cinnamon, bay leaf and seasoning.

Add the soaked mushrooms and soaking liquid, bring the mixture to the boil then cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring from time to time. Allow to cool and chill until required.

When ready to serve, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water for 8–10 minutes until just tender. Reheat the mushroom mixture, stirring until piping hot.

Drain the pasta, return to the pan and toss with the mushroom mixture. Spoon into shallow bowls and top with basil leaves and Parmesan shavings to serve.

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