Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Francine Degni, Jan Gautro
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.

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Ratings & Reviews

CookinMcGuires's Review

April 25, 2012
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!

phoebe1214's Review

November 15, 2011
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.

Bemsie's Review

April 24, 2010