This week's recipe is short on ingredients but bursting with flavour thanks to the porcini mushrooms. I recommend keeping a little jar of dried ones in the back of your cupboard as they're a very versatile seasoning and with a basic tomato sauce and dash of cream are especially delicious.
The secret to this dish is that when you add the cream it's best left to cook without stirring in, otherwise the sauce becomes emulsified and too creamy. If you don't stir, not only does it taste better but you also get a lovely, rippled effect of cooked cream and bright red tomato sauce.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
50g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 100ml hot water for 10 minutes
400g can of chopped tomatoes
5 tablespoons double cream
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
250g fresh tagliatelle (or dried egg tagliatelle)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic and cook gently for a minute, until softened. Drain the soaked mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Add the mushrooms to the pan and then gradually add half the soaking water. Cook for 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft; the liquid should have reduced to a syrupy consistency. Add the tomatoes and cook slowly for 20 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and thickened.
Add the cream but don't stir, let the cream cook into the sauce for three-five minutes and then add the chopped parsley and season to taste. At this point you'll have to stir the sauce a little but try not to do it too much.
Cook the tagliatelle in a large pan of boiling salted water for about three minutes, until al dente. Drain and add to the sauce. Toss well, cook over a low heat for a minute, then serve with grated Parmesan and black pepper.
Enjoy this recipe with a glass of Chianti Classico and enjoy the weekend.