Orecchiette with mushrooms and herbs
This is the type of meal that everybody loves – let’s hear it for the little ears!
The secret to cooking these mushrooms is to keep the pan very hot when you fry the mushrooms. Don’t stir them in the first 5 minutes – to get a lovely golden crust on the outside and retain the meaty goodness, you have to let it sit on the hot pan for a while.
Orecchiette, also known as the ‘little ears of Italy’, originates from the sunny province of Puglia in Italy. It has a round, concave shape, making it perfect to capture the beautiful flavours of the sauce and scoop up bits of herbs and vegetables.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
1/2 cup cream
400 grams orecchiette
parmesan, for grating
olive oil, to serve
Prepare all your ingredients.
Bring a large saucepan with salted water to the boil; add the pasta and cook for 10-15 minutes or until al dente.
Thickly slice the mushrooms (about 2 slices per mushroom). Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the mushrooms (it looks like a mountain but reduces down considerably) and leave to fry for 5 minutes before turning, so they get a lovely golden crust.
Season generously with salt, turn and leave again until reduced in volume and they are starting to release their liquid.
Add the butter and garlic and stir together, then add the tomatoes, tarragon and cream. Let it all bubble for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in half the parsley.
To serve: Combine the hot pasta and the sauce and divide between warm bowls. Top with the remaining parsley, a generous grating of parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.