Pennette with Chanterelles, Parsley and Mascarpone

A recipe by Theo Randall, this decadent pasta dish features tiny tubes of pennette. The creamy sauce is made up of mascarpone cheese and chanterelle mushrooms.

Pasta
From the book Pasta
Theo Randall
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Introduction

My kids love pennette because it’s so small - it’s pretty much a third of the size of regular penne. What’s particularly good about this dish is that when the mushrooms are cooked down, they amalgamate with the small pasta, giving a nice ratio of pasta to mushroom in every mouthful.

The best chanterelles come from Scotland. They have a lovely apricot colour and aroma and are grown in a more humid atmosphere than chanterelles from other parts of Europe - which during the summer can be quite dry and flavourless. The higher water content of Scottish chanterelles makes them generally more flavoursome. In this recipe, I’ve shown a way of effectively blanching the mushrooms in their own juices to concentrate the flavour and reduce any unwanted moisture, which can translate on the plate to being slimy.

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
500g chanterelle mushrooms, trimmed
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tbsp mascarpone cheese
½ lemon
400g pennette
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

Instructions

Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the mushrooms and cook over a high heat for 3 minutes, so they release their water Drain the mushrooms, discarding the liquid. Wipe the pan clean, add the remaining oil and the garlic and chilli and cook until the garlic is soft. Add the parsley and cooked chanterelles and cook over a low heat for 4–5 minutes. Stir in the mascarpone and a squeeze of lemon, then season with salt and pepper.

Cook the pennette in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain, reserving a spoonful or two of the cooking water: Add the pasta to the mushrooms, mix together and stir in a little of the cooking water to loosen the sauce, if necessary. Cook over a low heat for 2 minutes, then serve with grated Parmesan and black pepper.

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