Porcini mushrooms are the star of the show, they have a deep earthy flavor that enhances any dish. Look for dried porcinis in the mushroom aisle at your local gourmet grocery store.
- 1/2 cup stemmed dried porcini, shiitake, or other mushrooms
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 pound fettuccine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Place the dried mushrooms in a medium bowl, cover with the hot water, and let sit until reconstituted and soft, about 15 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and their liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl, squeezing the mushrooms to extract as much liquid as possible. Reserve the liquid and roughly chop the mushrooms. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccini and cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes for dried pasta.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil and melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the chopped mushrooms, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved mushroom liquid, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is nearly all evaporated, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Add the cream, thyme, salt, and pepper and return to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cream is reduced and thick, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the parsley and stir to incorporate.
- Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce, tossing well to coat. Add 4 tablespoons of the cheese, toss, and remove from the heat.
- Divide the pasta between two large bowls, garnish