Tagliatelle of porcini mushroom, sage butter jus and roasted hazelnuts

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Celebrate World Pasta Day by making this delicious tagliatelle.

Anglo-American cuisine, so the Italians say, has a painful tendency to obliterate the subtlety of their beloved staple by smothering it in too heavy, too rich, to unctuous and, frankly, just too much sauce. On national pasta day of all days, it seems fitting for us to share a recipe which goes some way towards remedying decades of misappropriation.

This one foregrounds the nuances of good, fresh pasta by setting is alongside simple and, crucially, light ingredients. It’s a medley of clean flavours, underpinned by the pleasing textural juxtaposition of chewy pasta alongside chopped roasted hazelnuts. Naturally, you might prefer to use dried pasta to save time and effort, but making fresh pasta is both rewarding and remarkably easy. The recipe should generously serve two.

For the pasta, you’ll need:

  • 200g “00” flour
  • 2 eggs

For everything else:

  • 50g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 100g portabello mushrooms
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • splash white wine vinegar
  • 75g butter
  • handful fresh sage
  • handful chives
  • 50g hazelnuts, finely chopped and roasted (they can be bought thus prepared)
  • juice of half a lemon

For the pasta, simply mix the flour and egg in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Remove it, and set to work kneading it. Do so for a good ten minutes, until the dough attains a kind of elasticity, whereupon it should be wrapped in cling film and refrigerated for at least 30 minutes. If you have a pasta machine, roll the resultant dough until it’s thin enough to work through the machine, and use the ribbon setting to generate strips of tagliatelle. If you don’t have one, fret not. Simply roll the pasta until it’s a couple of millimetres thick and cut into strips with a sharp knife.

You’ll need to follow the instructions on the packet for rehydrating the porcini. Once you’ve done this, and drained them, finely chop the onion and garlic, and introduce to a pan with a couple of hearty glugs of olive oil. Once these are translucent, add the porcini and portabello mushrooms, diced, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. At this juncture, add salt, pepper and a capful or two of white wine vinegar, all of which serve as flavour intensifiers.

To make the sage butter jus, melt the butter in a separate pan and add the sage and chives, finely chopped. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to create an emulsion, along with the juice of half a lemon. Let it boil for a minute or two and remove from the heat.

Fresh pasta only needs a minute or two to cook in salted boiling water. Once you have done this, drain thoroughly and mix with the mushrooms, garlic and onion.

To serve, spoon the jus and sprinkle the chopped and roasted hazelnuts over your bowls of pasta.

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