Special Diet

  • 25 g (1 oz) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped thyme
  • 2 x 400 g (13 oz) cans cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes
  • 400 g (13 oz) dried tagliatelle or homemade tagliatelle using 1 quantity 3-egg Pasta Dough (see page 10)
  • 40 g (1½ oz) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • salt and black pepper
  • freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)

Soak the porcini in the measurement water for about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the soaking water, and squeeze out any excess water.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan, add the garlic and thyme and stir for 30 seconds. Increase the heat to high. Add the porcini, season with salt and pepper and stir for 1 minute. Pour in the reserved soaking water and the tomatoes. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to very low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes until thickened, adding a little water if the sauce begins to stick. Adjust the seasoning.

When the sauce is almost ready, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until al dente: according to the packet instructions for dried pasta or for 2 minutes if using fresh pasta. Drain thoroughly, reserving a ladleful of the cooking water.

Return the pasta to the pan and place over a low heat. Stir in the mushroom sauce and the butter and mix together thoroughly. Add the reserved pasta cooking water and continue stirring for a few seconds until the pasta is well coated and looks silky. Serve immediately with a scattering of grated Parmesan, if liked.

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