A delicious and earthy Meatless Monday entree. Serve with a fresh garden salad for a complete and filling meal. Truffle oil, while pricey, is very versatile in many dishes including drizzled in mashed potatoes or in a homemade salad dressing.
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
2/3 cup boiling water
8 ounces uncooked bucatini (or fettuccine or spaghetti)
3 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 (4-ounce) packages exotic mushroom blend, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon truffle oil
Sage sprigs (optional)
1. Rinse porcini thoroughly. Combine porcini and 2/3 cup boiling water in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain in a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup soaking liquid. Chop porcini.
2. Cook pasta with 1 tablespoon salt in boiling water 10 minutes or until al dente; drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, mushroom blend, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in porcini, sherry, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates.
4. Finely grate 1 ounce cheese; crumble remaining cheese. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in pasta, 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup reserved porcini soaking liquid, 1/4 cup grated cheese, cream, chopped sage, and pepper; toss well to combine. Drizzle with oil; toss. Place about 1 1/4 cups pasta mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 1 tablespoon crumbled cheese. Garnish with sage sprigs, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings (393 calories, 14.2 g total fat, 6.1 g saturated fat, 15.8 g protein, 49 g carbohydrate, 3.4 g fiber, 38 mg cholesterol)