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Linguine with a Chestnut, Oyster and Porcini Mushroom Ragu

This comforting combination of roast mushrooms, silky linguine and plenty of Parmesan is the kind of dish you look forward to after a long week at the office. This will work with most combinations of mushrooms, the secret here is to get some really nice colour on them, beautiful brown mushrooms mean wonderfully meaty flavours. The addition of dried porcini to make a stock really helps to amplify the flavour.

Preparation time 30 minutes

Cooking time 30 minutes

Serves 2-3 people

INGREDIENTS 250g dried linguine 150g oyster mushroom 150g chestnut or button mushroom 15g dried porcini mushroom 2 sprigs parsley 1 stalk green garlic 1 onion 40g parmesan Butter or extra virgin olive oil as needed Salt and pepper to taste EQUIPMENT Chopping board and knife Medium sized pot Medium sized pan Colander or strainer Rubber spatula or wooden spoon Fine grater

METHOD 1.  Begin by preparing your ingredients, slice the button mushrooms into 1cm thick slices and tear the oyster mushrooms into bite sized pieces. Mince the onion and slice the green garlic into small pieces. Finely grate the parmesan and reserve. Roughly chop the parsley and reserve for garnishing. Chop the porcini mushrooms using scissors and place into a bowl, pour 200ml of boiling water over them to soften them and allow them to steep in the water creating a porcini stock.  2. Place a pan over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Place the button mushrooms in the pan and season with a pinch of salt. Do not crowd the pan and allow the mushrooms to brown well. Work in batches if necessary. Do the same with the oyster mushrooms.  3. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and add a little bit more oil or butter. Add the green garlic and minced onion and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 3 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.  4. Add the mushrooms back to the pan along with the porcini stock and the soaked porcini. Keep cooking over medium heat while stirring until the liquid has completely dissolved and you’re elft with a reduced sauce.  The sauce can be refridgerated and used within the next 3 days. 5.  When you are ready to cook the pasta, half fill a medium sized pot with water and place over high heat until the water comes to a boil. Add enough salt until the water tastes salty, not quite as salty as the sea, but close! Allow the salt to dissolve and add the pasta. Gently stir to ensure that the linguine are submerged and don’t stick together. Cook for 10 minutes or until the pasta is almost cooked. 

6. Strain the pasta and reserve a cup of the water the pasta was cooking in. Add the pasta back to the pot along with the sauce. Heat up the sauce and the pasta together along with a few tablespoons of pasta water and a few tablespoons of butter or a light drizzling of olive oil. Mix constantly to combine and make a sauce. Once most of the liquid has reduced and you are left with a wonderful sauce consistency turn off the heat and add most of the grated parmesan, reserving some to garnish.  This emulsification process is critical when saucing a good plate of pasta, by combining the olive oil or butter with cheese and pasta water we are creating a rich, creamy sauce. 7.To finish, garnish the plates of pasta with chopped parsley, freshly ground black pepper and even more parmesan!


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