Skinny pasta w/ fresh and dried mushrooms

by AdamB

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Adding dried mushrooms, mushroom stock and roasted garlic makes this dish intense.  You get the distinct textures of fresh and dried mushrooms, around a very pure flavor brightened by parsley.   Portobellos shrink a ton while roasting — four is a good number for two people.

Serves 2

ingredients

4 oz cups dry skinny pasta, capellini or linguini (I like any whole-wheat type made in Italy, or Lidia’s brand)

4 portobello mushrooms

.25 cup dried mushrooms, crumbled

1 whole head garlic, with a few layers peeled

1 bunch parsley

olive oil

.5 lemon, juiced

salt + pepper

hot pepper flakes

parmesan or pecorino

prep

Preheat oven to 350.  Set pot of salted water to boil.

Wipe portobellos with a damp paper towel.  Dry well.  Trip hard tip from stem, and slice rest of cap and stem in large chunks.   Meanwhile, cut the point off a head of garlic, and peel down to the last layer of skin.

Now toss garlic head and mushrooms in a large bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano.

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Lay mushrooms and garlic on a baking sheet lined with foil, and sprinkle w/ salt and pepper.  Roast for about 40 minutes  — you want creamy garlic with no hint of burning.  Remove sheet from oven and set aside.

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Meanwhile, mix dried mushrooms with .5 cup pasta cooking water in a small bowl or sauce pan.  Cover and let sit for 15 minutes.

Wash parsley, dry well and slice in small bunches.  Pulse in a food processor with 1T olive oil and lemon juice.  Squeeze in roasted garlic, making sure not to let in pieces of garlic skin.  Now add broth only from dried mushrooms, and pulse until fairly smooth.   Add salt, pepper and hot pepper to taste.

Cook pasta and set aside, saving cooking water.   Scrape pesto into a large sauce pan, mixing with about 1 cup pasta water.  Add pasta and warm, stirring to coat.

Slice portobellos into smaller chunks.  Toss pasta with portobello and dried mushrooms, and let warm a few more minutes.  Serve in soup bowls, topped with  a dash of olive oil and freshly grated parmesan or pecorino.

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