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Gluten-free Tagliatelle in Creamy Porcini Mushroom Sauce
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
Very similar to fettuccine, tagliatelle is one of my favorite kinds of pasta. I especially like Schär brand gluten-free tagliatelle. When I was in Italy a while back, I enjoyed a tasty plate of gluten-free pasta in a porcini mushroom cream sauce. The dish was a home run, and when I got back to the States, I opened my cupboard and tried to duplicate the rich, flavorful sauce that had won my heart in Italy.
After a few experiments, I settled on this recipe, which yields a creamy, delicious sauce and goes very well with the Schär tagliatelle I had on hand. The sauce incorporates parmesan cheese and will appeal to most macaroni and cheese lovers at your table.
This recipe will yield 4 portions, so scale accordingly.
2 cups of fresh porcini mushrooms, or 1 cup dried porcinis (shiitake, or other mushrooms also work, but I like the flavor of the porcinis)
¼ cup dry vermouth
1 pound gluten-free tagliatelle or fettuccine (I use Schär brand)
2½ cups heavy cream
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup shallots, minced
⅓ cup fresh carrots, lightly steamed and julienned
4 teaspoons garlic, minced
4 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Slice and sauté the mushrooms in a bit of butter, and 1 teaspoon of garlic, until soft. Add vermouth right at the end and simmer a couple of minutes. If you use dried mushrooms, then put them in a covered bowl of hot water for about 20 minutes, until they are soft, then squeeze any excess water from them before you slice and sauté them. Save the liquid for use later in the cooking process.
Strain the liquid from mushrooms into a clean bowl. Set both the mushrooms and the liquid aside for later.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tagliatelle and cook until al dente, as per instructions.
Meanwhile, heat the oil and melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add the shallots and stir about 2 minutes until soft.
Add 2 teaspoons of garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
Add the chopped mushrooms, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add the mushroom liquid, bring to a boil, and cook about 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is nearly evaporated. Add the cream, thyme, salt, and pepper and return to a simmer.
Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cream thickens. Add the parsley and mix well.
Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce. Sauté for about 2 minutes and mix until the pasta is well-coated with the liquid. Add ½ cup of the cheese, toss, and remove from the heat.
Divide the pasta between two large bowls, and top each with a portion of the remaining cheese. Garnish with fresh carrots for color, and and serve immediately.
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