Pappardelle Pie with Wild Mushrooms and Taleggio
This is exquisite and pappardelle which are wide flat ribbons work well but any dried pasta can be used.
If you want to make this a true vegetarian dish you can buy a vegetarian 'Parmesan style' cheese from Bookhams.com
This recipe is from Delia's Happy Christmas. Serves 6
Begin by placing the porcini (broken into pieces) in a small saucepan, add the Marsala, bring up to simmering point, then take it off the heat and put on a timer for the porcini to soak for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the onion and the same with the garlic. Then heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a wide shallow pan, add the onions and let them cook over a lowish heat for about 10 minutes. You can also watch how to prepare garlic and chop onions in our Cookery School Video on this page.
While that’s happening, chop the chestnut mushrooms (through the stalk) into quarters and the larger mushrooms into six. After that add the garlic to the onion and cook, stirring it around, for a minute or two before adding the prepared fresh mushrooms. Stir and toss them around until they start to shrink, add some seasoning and let them cook very gently. Then, when the 30 minutes’ soaking time is up, add the porcini and Marsala and do some more tossing and stirring.
Continue to cook with the heat at medium for about 30–40 minutes, or until all the juices (of which there will be quite a lot) have evaporated. It could take a bit longer, but this will concentrate the flavour of the mushrooms beautifully.
Put a large pan of water on to boil and preheat the oven to 200°C. Gas mark 6.
Meanwhile, make an all-in-one béchamel sauce by placing the milk, butter and flour in a saucepan, then whisking over a medium heat until you have a smooth, thick sauce. Then turn the heat to its lowest and cook for 5 minutes, adding some seasoning and the nutmeg. At the end whisk in 2 tablespoons of double cream.
When the mushrooms are ready, cook the pasta in the boiling water for 8 minutes, then drain it in a colander. Return it to the saucepan, add two-thirds of the sauce, along with the mushrooms and cubes of Taleggio. Now pile the whole lot into the baking dish, cover the pasta with the rest of the sauce and finally sprinkle with the Parmesan and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
This can all be prepared in advance, but in that case it will need 30–40 minutes in the oven. Either way, when it is removed from the oven, allow it to settle for 10 minutes before serving on hot pasta dishes.