fettucine with porcini

I spent a good chunk of this morning, nay, afternoon supine on the sofa moaning. Noooo, baaaad. Really, how did I not see this coming? Pink champagne. Two old-fashioneds. Baileys. Wine. Margaritas. Champagne again. Mmmmmeeeeehhhhh. Uch, remember when four or five glasses of water, some greasy eggs and potatoes and two aspirin did the trick? I’m soooooo oooooold. Alex turned on my Stories for me, that would be the hour of the Barefoot Contessa and Michael Chiarello during which I shall not be disturbed or else don’t complain about what happens when your Giants game is on. Nothing worked. Whhhyyyy meeee.

Eventually, this badly lit and shaky camera-ed new vision of the left side of Nigella Lawson’s face appeared on screen (no really, does anyone else feel utterly claustrophobic watching her new show?), the last thing I needed in my surely vertigoed state but there she was all ochre-lit with her smashing peas, golden olive oil drops from a kettle, scraped tins, lusty eggs, cooking for two although she has no intentions of sharing and insisting you eat certain dishes right there, from the pot, over the stove and I had this vision of cubes of crisped bacon and whisked eggs tangled up and knotted around steaming pasta then showered with parmesan and grindings of black pepper and I knew, I finally knew what could pry me off that sofa.

fettucine with porcini

But first — a walk! Sure, it was already 3 p.m. but a 60 degree day in the last week of November is not to be wasted on the, well wasted. We headed downtown along the Hudson, the sun in our faces and delicious fall air in our lungs, passing first one then another Soprano less than a mile apart and we were almost down to Battery Park when I realized I’d forgotten to put my sling on. Tsk! I must be cured. On the way home, we hit the store for not Nigella’s but Florence Fabricant’s fettuccine dish I’d bookmarked some weeks back, and just an hour later it was in our bellies. The pasta pits meaty porcini against smoky pancetta broken up with discs of garlic and then brings the whole thing back together with an egg. A half recipe was the perfect amount for the two of us without feeling excessive, because god knows we had enough of that last night. But, it didn’t mean I didn’t wish we’d picked up some red wine. I never learn.

fettuccine with porcini

Fettuccine with Porcini
Adapted from The New York Times, 11/1/06

Takes about 1 hour | Serves 4

2 ounces dried porcini
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 ounces pancetta, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound fresh fettuccine
4 eggs at room temperature, beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley leaves
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving.

1. Place porcini in a bowl, cover with about 1 cup warm water, and soak 30 minutes. Drain well, straining liquid into large measuring cup. Place porcini on several thicknesses of paper towel, cover with paper towel and press to remove moisture. Cut very large pieces in half.

2. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons oil in a skillet large enough to hold pasta for 4 servings. Add pancetta and sauté until barely beginning to brown. Add garlic and sauté another minute or so.

3. Add porcini and cook until heated through and beginning to brown. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Warm 4 plates.

4. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. Cook pasta about 3 minutes and drain well. Transfer to skillet, add remaining oil, and cook over low heat to incorporate and heat ingredients. Gradually add 3/4 cup porcini liquid. When some has been absorbed, remove pan from heat. Add eggs and fold together quickly, to warm eggs without scrambling them. Add a little more liquid if needed. Immediately divide among plates and garnish with parsley. Serve at once with cheese alongside.

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24 comments on fettucine with porcini

  1. RA

    More mushrooms! You’re an enabler, Deb, to feeding my addiction.

    And I give a hearty Amen to Nigella-induced claustrophobia! I can’t stand to watch it. My head involuntarily cranes backward due to the cramped camera angles – totally distracting from the food.

  2. Sort of spaghetti carbonara plus, huh? Looks great and looks like the perfect hangover cure.

    I haven’t noticed the claustraphobic thing with Nigella Lawson’s new show. I find the thing I notice most about the show (beyond Nigella’s distractingly large breasts and her plummy accent with which she is always speaking of some food as an object of desire so intense that it seems sexual) is her kitchen and the great light it has. I want her kitchen windows.

    Also, her knife skills might actually be worse than mine. Hard to believe.

  3. tammy

    Oh how I remember the days when I could drink like a fish and be a-ok the next day… A week away from 27 and even as it’s our anniversary tonight I fear the bottle of champagne and how I will feel tomorrow when I wake up! I cannot wait to try this recipe. I hope you are feeling better. My bruises are almost all gone however the yucky bruise lumps are still there – Boo!

  4. Floridagal

    Deb, beautiful website…yummy photographs :)
    i fee like trying out all your recipes :)
    i have followed u from your ivillage blog.

  5. bawdy penguin

    deb- this looks so good, but what do the eggs add to it? i have this fear of adding the egg. i know i would scramble them even after the recipe has told me not to. is there an alternative? cream? ahh, still looks really good!

  6. Jezzie

    I slept today too! but it was sickness induced, so heres to self induced crappiness, at least its like, well, taking your destiny into your own hands, instead of submitting to whatever you are dealt, like me. I mean, not for anything, but I didn’t even ENJOY getting whatever made me feel like this.
    and, oh, how I love that you will cook thru anything. you are amazing.

  7. deb

    Tanna – Heheh. Just a little. I am known for my restraint, you see.

    RA – I do love the mushrooms. In addition, once I buy an ingredient, say porcini, I then look for ways to use it up, hence the cream of mushroom soup (wasn’t that great, will make another soon), pirogi and now this. All gone now! Sniffle.

    Julie – I want her kitchen windows, too, but also her view! They have them covered with that opaque-ish paper so you can’t see. I mean, she’s in London, right? Then again, in the last episode she took a “break” to go to the Shake Shack, some mysteriously place in Madison Square Park with no lines! Who knew?

    Tammy – Glad you’re feeling better. Mmm, champagne.

    2 – Heh. Good reference. I am shocked that on a network so fixated on pristine appearances that I can feel dizzy watching her show. On everything else, I applaud them stepping outside their cookie-cutter filming.

    Floridagal – Welcome! And thank you.

    Bawdy – The eggs coat the noodles and make them bulkier. I totally ended up with a little scrambled around the pancetta and mushrooms in the bottom… and it was AWESOME. I’m not sure cream would substitute the same, but if you simmer it for a couple minutes, I’m sure it wouldn’t make a bad sauce.

    Jezzie – Oh, you just think I’ll cook through anything. :) See what happens when NaBloPoMo is up.

    Ann – I totally thought of you when I made this. It seemed right up your alley.

  8. foody

    YUM! Just tried this recipe! It soooo DELICIOUS!!! I did add a little cream to it too just to be naughty! Yummy mushrooms and bacon!
    I love all your recipes and ideas!!!

  9. Elizabeth

    This dish looks incredible, however, it is included in the vegetarian section of the website. Is there a good replacement for the pancetta for us non-meat eaters?

  10. This dish was nice and woodsy, but I found it a little bland. Needed lots of salt, and even then it only tasted . . . salty. I was surprised, too, because I used bacon instead of pancetta and assumed that would bump up the smoky flavor. Next time I’ll add more garlic, and maybe sautee some onions in, too.

  11. Cooking-between-classes

    I realize you are probably far beyond answering questions for this recipe, but why not cook the eggs over a double boiler, whisking, to ensure that the eggs get cooked but remain sauce-like. You know, like with puddings or some custards? Then you could toss them with the pasta and dilute as necessary with porcini water.

  12. VML

    Can you make this recipe with non-dried porcini mushrooms? Just got some at the farmer’s market and wondering if I can use them for this dish?