Fettuccine with Porcini Mushrooms (Fettuccine ai Funghi Porcini)

Fettuccine with Porcini Mushrooms (Fettuccine ai Funghi Porcini)

We shared photos of this fettuccine with porcini mushrooms on social media and our inbox imploded, everyone wanted the recipe. Well, we do love a good white sauce and porcini mushrooms are delicious regardless if they’re dried, frozen, or at their peak freshness in the fall so here you go!

How To Find Good Porcini Mushrooms

Searching for high-quality porcini mushrooms can be challenging. They can be hit or miss because they can be very strong or quite delicate and this can completely change your dish. Lean into that when cooking and let the porcini exist in its most natural form. This is one of the great joys of cooking.

We purchase fresh porcini in the fall when they are in season and then purchase some dried shortly after when the fresh mushrooms have completely dried out. While we don’t have a favorite brand, we do try to stick to porcini from places we know or from a local market. In the U.S., domestic porcini are delicious; you can also find Italian dried porcini at your local Italian market. Check the back of the label to see where they are from or inquiry with the market.

If you can’t find porcini at all that’s okay! Try a health food store or high-end market with a mix of funky-looking fungi. Grab a couple of each and experiment. We look fondly at our time living in Oakland, Ca, and being able to visit the mushroom section of Berkeley Bowl. They often had over a dozen types of mushrooms and it was a little piece of paradise!

Fresh Porcini Mushrooms

In Calabria, Italy we’re based just 45 minutes away from the mountainous region on Sila, a national park. Sila has incredible mushrooms, but the porcini are truly out of this world! Lina and Salvatore are expert mushroom foragers, and with Lina’s inexplicable good luck she always exits the heavily wooded area with a huge bag of safe-to-eat funghi.

When we can’t find mushrooms we stop at The Official Mushroom Forager’s home (we don’t know his name but know his address) and he always seems to have a bag of something delicious and fresh for us to take home. If you are familiar with fresh porcini mushrooms just know that they are huge! In fact, they can weigh up to 1kg and be as big as your head. They’re meaty and have such a unique taste, there’s not anything quite like them.

In order to enjoy porcini mushrooms throughout the year, we wash, cut, and freeze them. But when fresh porcini are not available we use dried.

Dried Porcini Mushrooms

We enjoy porcini mushrooms in all of their shapes and forms, which includes dried. However, we usually only use dried porcini mushrooms for risotto or a baked dish, not pasta. If you only have access to dried porcini mushrooms use them! This fettuccine ai funghi porcini will be delicious and you’ll have the bonus of being able to use the porcini water to boil the pasta which infuses the flavor into the noodles.

Be sure to allow the mushrooms to soak for long enough. We want an even consistency so feel free to flip and move the porcini in order to make sure all sides are absorbing the water. You can add more water to the bowl if things dry out. Don’t worry about adding too much water.

How To Cook Porcini Mushrooms

An overcooked, extra chewy porcini is a sad porcini. This delicious fettuccine is not the place for sad fungi. Avoid overcooking mushrooms by removing the pan from the heat or even the mushrooms from the pan with a slotted spoon if you’re concerned about overcooking.

Add extra virgin olive oil, butter, and garlic to a medium-large pan and place on low heat. Once the cloves are golden blonde remove them. Add the mushrooms to the pan and increase heat to high. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Remove pan from heat and add finely chopped parsley. The sauce is done.

Butter (And Other Dairy)

This is the first pasta recipe we’ve ever shared that calls for butter. In South Italy, most people don’t use butter, not even for baking or in risotto. The rivalry of extra virgin olive oil vs butter (re: Italian vs French) runs deep, however, as the delightful Elizabeth Minchilli says we are “equal opportunity fat consumers”. So yes we use butter. And yes, we do deeply admire the longtime friendship between butter and mushrooms.

Last note, other recipes similar to this call for cream. Let’s not insult our fungi friends by dousing them in liquid dairy. We love milk and cream, but this isn’t the time or place for either. Let the fungi have their moment to shine in all of their delicate glory.

How to Make Fettuccine with Porcini Mushrooms

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt to taste. Cut the mushrooms into bite-size pieces. Heat a medium-large pan on medium heat and add olive oil, garlic, and butter. When the cloves look golden remove from heat. Add the mushrooms, cook, and season. Then add the fettuccine to the boiling water. Fettuccine cook really fast so you have to be quick. Add the pasta to the pan first if the pan is very hot, then add some pasta water. Stir continuously and add pasta water as needed. Remove from heat, then add cheese and plate!

*Do not throw out porcini mushroom water or pasta water*

You May Also Like…

Pasta with Garlic and Olive Oil (Pasta Aglio e Olio): Super simple, vegetarian pasta in a white sauce.

Orecchiette with Broccoli (Orecchiette con Broccoli): A round pasta shaped with a super-rich veggie sauce.

Pasta all’Amatriciana: A Roman classic with omato sauce, guanciale, and parmigiano.

If you make this fettuccine with porcini mushrooms, please leave a comment and give this recipe a rating! We love to hear from you and do respond to comments. And if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag us on Instagram and Facebook and use #EXAUoliveoil so we can repost!

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