Wild Mushroom & Smoked Tomato Penne Pasta

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Main Ingredient: Vegetables, Pasta
Menu Part: Entree
Cuisine Type: Italian
Serves: 12 servings

This pasta features mushrooms galore—morel mushrooms, crimini mushrooms and a mix of oyster, chanterelle and porcini. Adding in some smoked tomato, pine nuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese makes this dish very satisfying.

Ingredients

8 oz. dried morel mushrooms
1 1/2 lbs. fresh crimini mushrooms, trimmed, quartered
1 1/2 lbs. mixed fresh wild mushrooms (such as oyster, chanterelle or porcini), trimmed, sliced
   lengthwise 1/4-in. thick
5 1/4 cups boiling water
1 lb. smoked tomato, large dice
8 oz. unsalted butter
3 large garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 cups white wine
1 1/2 lbs. dried whole-wheat penne pasta
1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
1/2 fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
3 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Steps

1. Soak dried mushrooms in boiling water in bowl until softened, about 20 mins. Drain in paper towel-lined sieve set over bowl. Reserve liquid. Rinse mushrooms. Pat dry and finely chop.

2. To prepare smoked tomato, quarter tomatoes and remove seeds. Place on wire rack. Place in smoker for 5 mins. Let cool and remove skins. Cut into large dice and reserve.

3. Heat half of butter in large heavy skillet over high heat until foam subsides, then sauté rest of mushrooms with garlic, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms’ liquid is evaporated and mushrooms are browned, 5 to 7 mins. Add white wine and mushroom-soaking liquid and reduce by half.

4. Stir in chopped, mushrooms and smoked tomato and simmer 2 mins., remove from heat.

5. Cook pasta in 2-gal. pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 10 to 12 mins. Ladle out and reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water. Drain pasta in colander; add pasta to mushroom/tomato mixture in skillet. Add remaining half of butter and cook over high heat, tossing and adding pasta-cooking liquid if necessary to lightly coat, about 1 min.

6. Add chives, parsley, pine nuts and 2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and toss well. Garnish with more cheese and pepper to taste.

Recipe by Northern Michigan University, Marquette, Mich.