Yesterday at the farmers' market, I picked up a bag of fresh shiitake mushrooms. Now, I must say, I adore mushrooms, any type, any time. It's funny because my brother Luciano, who is an amazing chef and owns his own restaurant abhors them. He even goes through the trouble of lying to waiters when he goes out for dinner, saying that he is highly allergic so that they will be left out of his dishes. I even think he dislikes truffles... come on. Who doesn't like truffles?
I think the best bite of food I've ever eaten was a tiny sliver of raw white truffle, but we don't have the means to buy them. I can, however buy different varieties of mushrooms, which is exactly what I did yesterday.
When I really love an ingredient, I want to highlight it. I want to showcase it and make it the star. And mushrooms are definitely the star of this easy pasta dish, aptly named for a great musical duo of the seventies. You'll see why.
2 cups of chopped Shiitake tops ( discard the stems, they get too chewy)
1 cup dried Porcini mushrooms, chopped and soaked in 1 cup of water
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Chopped Italian Parsley
1 tbsp Chopped Sage
1 tbsp Chopped Rosemary
1 tbsp Chopped Thyme
Grated cheese to taste ( I like Grano Padano)
Heat olive oil in medium saucepan. Add garlic and saute until golden.
Add the Shiitake and Porcini mushrooms, water, and herbs. Saute together on high heat for five minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for additional fifteen minutes.
Cook pasta for two. You can used your favorite pasta since any pasta will work with this. Add cooked pasta to the saucepan. Reheat sauce with pasta for a few minutes, tossing lightly to coat the pasta. Top with cheese and serve.
*Allow Porcini mushrooms to soak in water for at least 10 minutes to rehydrate them. Save the water to add to the sauce.
** If you still don't understand why this is "Simon and Garfunkle" pasta click here