Chef's Note: The phrase alla boscaiola translates to “in the style of the woodsman.” To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever met a woodsman, but there is a lovely
woodsy quality about this dish: broad ribbons of pappardelle or fat bucatini noodles (your choice) tossed with meaty, rosemary-scented mushrooms and finished with a snowy
shower of pecorino cheese. I like to use less-common varieties of mushrooms, such as brown clamshell, chicken-of-the-woods, gamboni, and trumpet.
For brown clamshells and other mushrooms that are sold in “clumps,” pull the mushrooms apart at the base. If they are large and thick, cut them into slices;
if they are thin, you can leave them whole. What you are aiming for in the sauce is a mix of sizes and textures.
- 1/2 cup California Olive Ranch extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, lightly crushed
- 8 oz mixed fresh mushrooms, trimmed (see Chef's Note)
- 8 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
- 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 1/2 cup passato di pomodoro (tomato puree)
- 1 tsp kosher or fine sea salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 lb dried pappardelle or bucatini
- Freshly grated pecorino romano cheese for serving
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt generously.
Place the California Olive Ranch extra-virgin olive oil and garlic in a large, deep frying pan over medium-low heat. Cook the garlic, stirring occasionally,
for 3 to 4 minutes, or until fragrant but not browned. Add all the mushrooms and rosemary. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook the mushrooms without turning them for
about 2 minutes, or until they are browned on the underside. Toss and then cook them for another 2 minutes or so before tossing them again.
Continue to cook the mushrooms in this way for about 15 minutes total, or until they are golden brown. Remove and discard the garlic.
Stir in the tomato puree and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the salt, season with pepper, and stir in the parsley. Turn off the heat and cover the pan to keep the sauce warm.
Add the pasta to the boiling water, stir to separate the noodles, and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta in a colander
set in the sink, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water.
Transfer the pasta to the frying pan and gently toss the pasta and sauce to combine thoroughly, adding a splash or two of the cooking water if necessary to loosen the sauce.
Transfer the dressed pasta to warmed shallow individual bowls and sprinkle with the cheese. Serve immediately.
The Glorious Pasta of Italy (Chronicle Books, 2011) by Domenica Marchetti.
Reprinted with permission from the publisher.