Pappardelle with Porcini and Pancetta

Pappardelle with Porcini and Pancetta

Baked pasta is comfort food and this particular baked pasta dish is more comforting than most. It is no less delicious and perfectly flavoured than I would expect from Simon Hopkinson. I found the recipe on the BBC website. I seem to remember watching him make it in his TV series, “The Good Cook”, a few years ago. I never got around to buying the accompanying book of the same name but am seriously considering doing so now.

This is so simple to make; simple recipes often are the best. I never thought I’d be regularly cooking recipes for only two people but the truth is it’s often just my husband and I at the kitchen table these days, and if my elderly mother-in-law isn’t up to cooking, there’s always enough to take a small portion of whatever we’re having downstairs to her. Don’t look at the quantity of pasta and worry that it’s not enough; I promise you it is. This is a filling dish. It’s also good for you: I recently read that mushrooms, especially porcini, are the best food source of two anti-ageing antioxidants. So that’s a bonus.

Pappardelle with Porcini and Pancetta

Ingredients

  • 500ml milk
  • 20g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 40g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 100g pappardelle
  • 50g pancetta, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbsps grated parmesan cheese

Method

  • Bring the milk up to simmering point in a pan on the simmering plate
  • Add the porcini mushrooms and remove from the heat
  • After 10 minutes or so drain the milk through a sieve into a bowl, pressing out as much liquid from the mushrooms as you can
  • Melt the butter in a clean saucepan on the simmering plate. Add the flour and stir for a couple of minutes with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth roux
  • Pour in the porcini flavoured milk in one go and whisk vigorously until smooth and starting to thicken. Season, cover and place in the simmering oven for at least 10 minutes (can be longer: as ever where the simmering oven is concerned, it will come to no harm) while you cook the pappardelle according to the packet instructions until it’s al dente. (I bring a large pan of water to a boil on the boiling plate and add salt before adding the pasta.)
  • Drain the pasta and then in a large bowl mix it with the porcini, pancetta and sauce. Tip this into a lightly buttered oven-proof dish and sprinkle over the parmesan
  • Place in the middle of the Aga roasting oven for about 25 minutes until it’s bubbling and golden brown
  • Serve with a green salad and you might want some extra cheese too

 

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4 thoughts on “Pappardelle with Porcini and Pancetta

  1. This sounds delicious! It reminds of Martha Stewart back in the day with that milk and mushroom simmer then using the milk for the sauce. And thanks for continuing to post! I so appreciate it. I’m still learning to use my Aga. I think I’ve got it for the most part, but it is good to hear how others do things. Recently I’ve discovered a better way to do corn on the cob. Maybe you don’t eat corn that way where you are but here in Indiana it is a summer treat. So what I’ve discovered is just put the whole ear, outer leaves, silk and all into the roasting oven. Just chick it in!! Roast for about 20 minutes or so. Then take it out and peel back outer husk and the rest comes right off with it. No silk to pick off strand by strand! It works beautifully! And silly me, I was shucking the corn then wrapping it in foil to roast. No need!
    Anyway, thanks again for the great recipe!! Hope it starts cooling off for you there. Is a hot September here. I’m ready for the cool of Autumn!!

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  2. How wonderful to have a reader from as far away as Indiana. Thank you for reading; it’s great to know fellow Aga owners are getting something out of it. I must check out the Martha Stewart recipe and will definitely be trying your method for roasting corn. Thanks for that tip. It is much cooler here now; Autumn (I mean, Fall) is in the air.

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  3. It looks delicious and I will definitely give it a go.
    I have Simon Hopkinson’s book ( somewhere) and I tried out his recipe for rice pudding. It was the best I have ever eaten.

    You know me as “oldbag47”.

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  4. Hello “oldbag47”! He knows his stuff and writes excellent recipes. I remember years ago when readers of the Waitrose magazine voted for his “Roast Chicken and Other Stories” as their favourite cookbook.

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