I refer to the dough for this rustic hand-shaped pasta as "Rich Man's Golden Pasta," because in Italy it's a luxury to use precious egg yolks to moisten and enrich pasta dough. Makaruni, common in my birthplace of Istria, is a pasta my grandmother used to make when there was no time to roll, cut, and shape other pastas. Use this rich dough to prepare pappardelle when time allows.
2 cups all-purpose flour (about 9 ounces)
Dash of salt
6 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
5 large egg yolks
6 quarts water
2 1/4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 ounces dried morel mushrooms
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon truffle oil
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
How to Make It
To prepare pasta, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and dash of salt in a food processor. Combine 6 tablespoons water, 1 1/2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil, and egg yolks in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. With processor on, slowly pour water mixture through food chute, processing just until dough forms a ball. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 5 times. Shape dough into a disk. Dust dough lightly with flour; wrap in plastic wrap. Let stand 30 minutes.
Pat dough into a 3 x 8–inch rectangle 1-inch thick. Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), divide dough into 14 equal pieces. Roll each piece between your palms back and forth, into a strand about 2 inches long. Place strands on a well-floured jelly-roll pan. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portions to form 112 strands.
Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large Dutch oven. Place pasta in a sieve, and shake off excess flour. Add pasta to pan. Cook for 1 1/2 minutes or until done; drain.
To prepare sauce, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add morel mushrooms to pan. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 40 minutes. Drain morel mushrooms through a colander over a bowl, reserving morel mushrooms and liquid. Halve morel mushrooms lengthwise; set aside.
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan, and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Clear a spot in bottom of pan. Add garlic to clear spot in pan, and saute for 30 seconds. Add salt, thyme, and pepper; sauté 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add reserved morel mushrooms and cremini mushrooms to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and cook for 4 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently. Clear a spot in bottom of pan. Add tomato paste to clear spot; cook 1 minute. Stir tomato paste into mushroom mixture.
Stir in 1 cup reserved mushroom liquid. Cook for 8 minutes or until very thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining mushroom liquid; cook for 4 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally. Add pasta and parsley to sauce mixture; toss well. Stir in truffle oil. Serve with cheese.
This was a good recipe. I made the pasta which was great and I used fresh morels. So the morel soaking liquid I used was just chicken stock. I actually thought the morels weren't strong enough. But it is a great recipe and I am excited to try it with other dried mushrooms that may give a stronger flavor. My 3 year old son loved it as well!
I was really hoping to give this 5 stars. I love mushrooms, and fully expected a recipe from Lidia Bastianich to be fabulous, but this one fell short.
I almost didn't make the homemade pasta, but decided to and it was easy and wonderful. I wish I could have rated the pasta separately from the mushroom sauce because I would give it 4 or 5 stars. It was easy and tasty.
The sauce was not. The morels were just too much for me, and I love mushrooms. At $150+ a pound they are first of all too expensive. I almost made this with 1 ounce of morels and more cremini, but I realized too late that I had only bought a pound of creminis instead of 1 1/2 pounds, so I used the full 2 ounces. The flavor was way too strong; almost a dirty earthy flavor. To fix the sauce you would have to cut way back on the morels, then cut the earthy tones with a little cream or something. I've had much better mushroom sauces and I will make the pasta again with a different mushroom sauce in the future.