My homemade Garganelli Pasta with Mushroom Sauce is the perfect dinner any time of the year. This vegetarian dish is full of flavour and the fresh homemade pasta elevates it into a whole other level.
As with many Italian dishes, simplicity is the way - few ingredients, cooked to perfection. There are no tricks involved, no bells and whistles, no expensive ingredients. It's all quite minimal but the dish itself is brimming with personality and flavour to back it up.
The key this dish the the wonderful Garganelli Pasta. Homemade pasta dough, rolled into thin sheets, then shaped into ridged quills using a gnocchi board and a chopstick or piece of dowling. I use an inexpensive Italian Gnocchi Board to create my garganelli quills. The board creates the ridges, which help and sauce coat the pasta more generously. Garganelli can be made either ridged or smooth so don't worry if you don't have a gnocchi board.
How to make fresh homemade pasta
If you're new to making homemade pasta yourself at home, you needn't worry too much - it's really not difficult at all. My how to make fresh egg pasta guide, will take you through the whole process. You do need some kit, but once you have it - you can create delicious pasta any day of the week. Of course, you can also use a rolling pin to roll out your pasta sheets too, but trust me - it's easier with a manual or electric machine. Check out my shop to see the Pasta machine I started out with.
Once you get started with fresh pasta you open up a world of shaped and stuffed creations - they're some of Italy's most delicious dishes, like my lamb ragu with pappardelle or osso bucco ravioli. It will revolutionise your pasta game!
Garganelli is typically served with a meat sauce or ragu from duck, lamb or beef, but my vegetarian offering is a delicious rich and flavoursome mushroom sauce. Mushrooms offer a fantastic 'meatiness' of their own and a terrific umami flavour - who needs meat!? Let's get rolling!
How to make my Garganelli Pasta with Mushroom Sauce
For the fresh pasta
- 1 4oz batch of fresh egg pasta dough
For the mushroom sauce
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 18 oz (500g) mushrooms - button or brown (thinly sliced)
- 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 3 sage leaves (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano (chopped)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup vegetable stock (or chicken or beef)
- 1/2 stick (50g) unsalted butter (optional)
- salt & pepper
- Fresh Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan)
Making the Garganelli Pasta
- Once you've created your pasta dough, let it rest, covered in a cool place for 30 minutes. Once rested, cut the dough in half. Cover one half and set aside. Using your pasta rolling machine, on the widest setting, begin rolling the pasta through once. Fold into thirds then roll again. Repeat a couple of times to get the dough started.
- Gradually begin to roll the pasta dough through the machine, reducing the roller width each time to get the sheets thinner. Stop at the second to last setting (7 or 8) for a good thickness. Cut the pasta sheet in half lenghtways to make it easier to work with. Trim off the rough edges from each sheet and discard. Now cut the pasta into roughly 2"/5cm squares.
- Using a round chopstick or something similar (something round!). 1. Place one pasta square in front of you like a diamond. If you're using a gnocchi board place on the board in this manner. 2. Place the chopstick across the bottom corner 3. Lift up the corner and roll it around the chopstick. 4. Roll the chopstick away from yourself to create a garganelli 5. Slide the garganelli off the chopstick and place on a floured board. Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!
- Cover the garganelli until you need it. (it'll stay good for up to 4 hours)
To make the Mushroom Sauce
- Heat a large pan of generously salted water for the pasta
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a moderate heat until hot. Add the mushroom, garlic, sage and oregano and start to fry. Fry the mushrooms gently for 10 minutes until soft. Pour in the white wine and let the alcohol sizzle for 30 seconds before pouring in the stock. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes to reduce by half. Add the butter (if using) it gives a lovely glossy appearance and nice flavour, but it's half a stick of butter I know! So if you want to leave it out, do!
- Season generously with salt & pepper and let the sauce simmer for a further 5 minutes until it becomes creamy. Remove from the heat.
- Bring your pasta water to a boil. Tip the garganelli into the boiling water and let them cook for 3-4 minutes. Using a sieve, scoop out the garganelli and toss them into the mushroom sauce. Mix gently and add a couple of spoonfuls of pasta water to thin out the sauce if needed. That's it!
- Portion into bowls and then sprinkle over lots of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
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