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  • Writer's pictureLydia Gerratt

Porcini and chestnut mushroom pasta

Porcini and chestnut mushroom pasta

I’ve been trying to recreate the classic Italian porcini mushroom pasta……but, I’ve encountered one huge problem, it’s impossible to buy fresh porcini mushrooms and if by some amazing luck you find one, they are unbelievably expensive (£10 for one mushroom!!). Or, if you’re brave enough (I am definitely not) you can do a spot of mushroom foraging as, apparently, porcini do grow in British woodlands, who knew?!

So what better to use than dried porcini mushrooms. You can get them in all the supermarkets, you only need a small amount to get some serious flavour and they don’t cost a fortune – which means this recipe can be an everyday family meal.

I added brown chestnut mushrooms to get a more mushroomy texture (if you know what I mean?) and the rest of the recipe is pure Italian with lots of fresh parsley, extra virgin olive oil and Parmigiano reggiano.

Miraculous ingredients: Dried porcini mushrooms, spaghetti (I use Giuseppe Cocco), Parmigianino Reggiano (Parmesan)

Porcini and chestnut mushroom pasta


15g dried porcini mushrooms, torn into tiny pieces

300g chestnut (brown) mushrooms finely sliced

1 clove of garlic finely chopped

25g unsalted butter

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

20g fresh parsley finely chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

400g Spaghetti (Giuseppe Cocco is an excellent quality brand)

Freshly grated Parmigiano reggiano

A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (your best one!) to serve


Put the torn pieces of dry porcini mushrooms in a measuring jug and cover with 100ml of boiling water. Leave to soften for 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

Place a large pan that can hold a good 3 litres of water onto a high heat. When the water starts to boil add a teaspoon of salt and all the pasta.

Put a dry medium size frying pan on a low heat to warm up as you get the ingredients ready. Add all the extra virgin olive oil and butter to the warm pan and quickly fry the chopped garlic for about 20 seconds. Do not let it brown.

Add the finely sliced mushrooms and stir. Increase the heat to high so all the water released by the mushrooms can evaporate and the mushrooms begin to brown. Once the mushrooms have developed a dark brown colour, add a few grinds of black pepper and the softened porcini mushroom with its liquid stock (made with the boiling water). Pour the stock in carefully so the sediment at the bottom doesn’t go into the pan. Stir and fry for a few minutes.

Add the finely chopped parsley, stir and continue to fry for another minute. Turn off the heat.

When the spaghetti is cooked al dente (soft on the outside but slightly hard in the middle), lift it out of its water with a pasta spoon and put it directly into the pan with the mushrooms. Add a 3-4 tablespoons of pasta water to help create a sauce (the starch in the pasta water thickens the sauce).

Drizzle with your very best extra virgin olive oil for more flavour and serve with lots of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Preparation time 15 minutes, cooking 10 minutes, 2 adult portions, 2 child portions

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