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Makaruni Pasta with Morel Mushroom Sauce

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Francine Degni, Jan Gautro
Yield 4 servings (serving size: 1 2/3 cups pasta mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese)
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.

Ingredients

  • Pasta:
  • 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
  • Sauce:
  • 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

Nutrition Information

  • calories 525
  • caloriesfromfat 31 %
  • fat 18.3 g
  • satfat 4.8 g
  • monofat 10.6 g
  • polyfat 2.4 g
  • protein 22.4 g
  • carbohydrate 64.4 g
  • fiber 4.5 g
  • cholesterol 263 mg
  • iron 7.8 mg
  • sodium 882 mg
  • calcium 165 mg

How to Make It

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.