This meal came from Rachael Ray’s “Look and Cook”, and it was incredibly tasty. We both loved it. If you’ve never tried porcini mushrooms before, definitely make a point of doing so very soon. They are so earthy and delicious – probably my favorite type of mushroom. They come dried in a plastic package, you have to reconstitute them in warm water or stock. She called for topping this with arugula and hazelnuts, but I used baby spinach and slivered almonds since that’s what I had on hand. It worked very nicely.
Risotto typically uses arborio rice, but this was a twist on the classic – you use a pound of spaghetti cut into one inch pieces and cook it in the same style as risotto. You can break up the spaghetti yourself, but I found that Barilla makes a “cut spaghetti” which is exactly what you need for this recipe. That was a great find, made this dish so easy. Enjoy!
3 tbs EVOO
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
Salt and pepper
1 (1 ounce) package dried porcini mushrooms
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 pound cut spaghetti
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup hazelnuts or slivered almonds
2 tbs butter
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups arugula or baby spinach
1/2 lemon, juiced
Heat a medium saute pan with 3 tbs EVOO over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper to taste, and saute until tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
Place the mushrooms, stock and 2 cups of water in a sauce pot and heat. Keep warm on low. Do not boil. Add the pasta to the saute pan and toast until golden in color and nutty in fragrance, about 6 minutes. Add the wine and let it cook off for 1 minute. Ladle in warm stock every few minutes, stirring for a good minute with each addition to develop starches. Let it almost completely evaporate before each new addition of stock. The pasta will cook up more quickly than rice, so start tasting after 8 or 9 minutes of cooking time once you begin to add stock. When you are down to the last cup of liquids, remove mushrooms and chop them. Add to the pasta.
Toast the nuts if desired. When the pasta is cooked to al dente, add the butter and cheese, then stir to combine.
Dress the greens with lemon juice, a drizzle of EVOO, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls topped with greens and nuts. Enjoy!