This pasta dish is one of my favourite things to make when the weather turns a little colder. It is pure comfort food, and I don’t know about you, but we’re eating comforting food every single day at the moment! Good food and nice wine is really pulling us through during this rather strange time, and pasta feels like a nice big warm hug in a time when well, we can’t really hug. Mushrooms also happen to be at their best right now as we head into mid Autumn, so it’s a perfect time to take advantage of all of the different varieties available.
I like to use an assortment of mushrooms – here I’ve gone for mostly Swiss browns as they are a little more economical, and then some shiitakes as they have a really punchy flavour, as well as some lovely pink oyster, meaty shimeji and my favourite, chestnut mushrooms. It will still be delicious with just Swiss browns or whatever is available to you, so don’t fret too much about finding lots of different types.
Mushrooms don’t need to be washed, instead remove any dirt from them with a brush or wipe them clean with some paper towel. Be sure you don’t add any salt to the mushrooms in the beginning either as it tends to draw out the moisture which is what you want to avoid – save the seasoning to the very end.
If you have them, dried porcini mushrooms add such a great depth of flavour and richness to the sauce, and are definitely worth using. Any pasta shape you have will be more than fine here, but I do like a long noodle. I’ve used pappardelle but something like bucatini, spaghetti or even fettuccine would be great. I have a rosemary bush in my front yard and grow thyme out the back and the neighbours have a burgeoning bay tree that pushes out onto the street, so I decided to add these in at the beginning to give more flavour to the pasta, but if you only have one, or none at all, it will still be lovely.