Pasta with Mushroom Pesto

by Laura on November 8, 2012

in Main Meals

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

1 medium-sized red onion, peeled

2 medium-sized cloves garlic, peeled

3 tbsp pine nuts

1 tbsp rosemary leaves, fresh or preserved in salt

4 tbsp (2 ozs) sweet butter

8 tbsp olive oil

1 lb ripe, fresh tomatoes; or 1 lb canned tomatoes, preferably Italian, drained

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 anchovies in salt, or 4 anchovies in oil, drained

1 lb flat pasta such as tagliatelle or lasagnette


Soak the mushrooms in lukewarm water for 30 minutes, then drain and clean them thoroughly to remove all sand attached to the stems; discard the soaking water. Finely chop the mushrooms, onion, garlic, pine nuts and rosemary all together on a board, in a mortar and pestle, or in a food processor.

Place the butter and 5 tablespoons of the oil in a medium-sized flameproof casserole over medium heat. When the oil is warm but the butter not yet completely melted, add the chopped ingredients and sauté for 15 minutes, stirring every so often with a wooden spoon. Meanwhile, if using fresh tomatoes, cut them into pieces. Pass fresh or canned tomatoes through a food mill, using the disc with the smallest holes, into a crockery or glass bowl. Add the tomatoes to the casserole, season to taste with salt and pepper, and simmer for 15 minutes more. Be sure to mix every so often so the mushrooms do not stick to the bottom of the casserole.

Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil, add coarse salt to taste, then add the pasta and cook it for 9 to 12 minutes depending on the brand.

When the pasta cooks, put a small saucepan with remaining oil over low heat. If using anchovies in salt, clean and fillet them under cold running water. When the oil is warm, remove pan from the heat, add the anchovy fillets, and use a fork to mash them into the oil. Add this paste to the casserole, and mix well over high heat for 1 minutes.

When pasta is ready, drain and transfer it to a large bowl, pour the sauce over it, and mix well again. Transfer to a large warmed dish and serve immediately.

Serves: 4 to 6

Source: Bugialli on Pasta, Giuliani Bugialli, Simon and Schuster

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