I love mushrooms. ‘Meat for vegetarians’ one advertising campaign called them, and I’d suggest that this super quick pasta dish is so tasty that even die-hard carnivores won’t miss the meat. In autumn, when wild mushrooms appear in farmers’ markets and good greengrocers, use gorgeous orange pine mushrooms or meaty slippery jacks instead of the Swiss browns if you come across them. I like the slipperiness of an egg pasta, like pappardelle, with this sauce, but it also works well with farfalle or cheese-filled ravioli. Fennel seeds, popular in Italian sausages, add another savoury dimension, that makes it a natural with the soft, delicious Gentle Folk Village pinot noir from the Adelaide Hills.
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
- 75g butter, diced
- 150g Swiss brown mushrooms, finely sliced
- 300g button mushrooms, finely sliced
- Salt flakes, to taste
- 500g dried pappardelle
- 1 bunch chives, finely sliced
- 30g freshly grated parmesan
Here’s all you need to know about cooking pasta perfectly (scroll down to Q&A).
- Toast fennel seeds in a large frying pan for a few minutes until fragrant.
- Add butter and, when melted, add mushrooms and a good pinch of salt.
- Stir well, cover and cook over a low heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have softened.
- Uncover and cook for a further minute or 2, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cook pappardelle in plenty of salted water until almost al dente.
- Drain, reserving a little of the cooking liquid, and add to the mushrooms.
- Return the pan to the heat and toss well to combine.
- Add chives and parmesan and continue stirring over the heat for a minute or so, until cheese is melted and everything is well combined, adding a tablespoon or 2 of the reserved cooking water if necessary to give it a creamy consistency.
- Serve mushroom pappardelle in warmed flat bowls.