This is a simple recipe from Chef Lidia Bastianich, packed with flavour and with a great mouth texture. It can also be made in any season of the year, since mushrooms now abound on our store shelves year-round. Chef Lidia loves mushrooms; they deliver a lot of flavour and texture without the heavy calories. The creaminess of the ricotta adds to the complexity of flavour, and the pasta carries it all deliciously.
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for the pot
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary needles
1 lb mixed fresh mushrooms (button, cremini, shiitake, chanterelles)
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
1 lb penne
1 1/2 cups (about 12 oz) fresh ricotta
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, and cook until it is sizzling. Add the rosemary, and cook a few seconds, until fragrant. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms, and season with the salt. Cook until the mushrooms are browned and wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the scallions and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Ladle in 1 cup pasta water, and simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes.
While the sauce simmers, cook the pasta. When the sauce is ready, and the pasta is al dente, remove the penne with a spider and add it directly to the sauce. Stir in the ricotta and parsley, and cook until warmed through. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the grated cheese, and serve.
From Lidia's Commonsense Italian Cooking, By Lidia Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali
Yield: Serves 6