Reconstituting dried mushrooms creates a deep rich savory broth that intensifies the mushroom flavor in this sauce. The mushrooms are hearty enough that you won’t miss the meat in this tasty pasta dish.
You can find dried mushrooms at specialty stores, or sometimes in the produce section of your grocery store next to the fresh mushrooms. Add them to a pan with water and gently simmer for about 20 minutes until they are softened. If the water level drops, top it up – you want to end up with at least 3/4 cup to use in the sauce.
It may seem strange to add tomato paste to a brown sauce, but it actually works to brighten those beefy flavors, as well as adds to the dark rich color of the sauce. Once you add it, make sure you allow it to cook for about a minute, stirring constantly. This will cook out its raw flavor.
Stirring in a bit of cold butter at the end of making the sauce is a classic French cooking technique called Monter Au Beurre (in North America it’s called ‘mounting’…I much prefer the French’s word!). It adds flavor, helps to thicken, as well to add a glossy sheen to the finished sauce.
Mushroom Medley Fettuccini
- 2 oz dried sliced mushrooms (porcini, shitaki, portabello, etc)
- 1 ½ - 2 cups GF beef stock or vegetable
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ tsp dried thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
- 12 oz GF fettuccini
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup Italian parsley chopped
- Parmesan cheese garnish (optional)
- In a small sauce pan add mushrooms and 1 ½ cups stock, bring to a low simmer. Reduce to low and let simmer for 20 minutes until mushrooms are tender. Add a bit more stock as it evaporates – you want to end up with at least ¾ cup of liquid.
- After the mushrooms are tender, drain liquid (reserve) and chop mushrooms up. If desired, strain the liquid through a cheesecloth to remove any grit, and set aside.
- In a large skillet, sauté onions, garlic, and thyme with oil until soft. Add the tomato paste and stir for about 1 minute, then add wine. Simmer until reduced by half.
- Add in mushrooms and liquid, and stir in butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Toss with cooked pasta and top with cheese if desired.