Recently I have become obsessed with making handmade pasta and sauce on the regular! Once you have the technique down pat, it actually doesn’t take too long to make and results in a meal that is not only delicious but makes you feel extra boujee! Since I am home all day working this year, I often take lunch breaks from work and make myself a bowl of handmade pasta. I find the process of forming each little piece of pasta incredibly relaxing.
Orecchiette, the pasta in this recipe, is one of the easiest shapes of pasta to make. The dough comes together in just a few minutes, and all you need to form it is a clean surface and a knife or bench scraper. It’s easy and quick, which makes it perfect for anyone new to pasta making. I paired it with a cheesy cream sauce full of sautéed garlic and wild mushrooms. I have always had a real love of mushrooms, and assorted wild mushrooms are my favorite because they each have their unique shape and meaty texture. It all comes together into the ultimate cheesy, flavor-packed, and filling bowl of comfort food for this winter season!
Orecchiette With Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce
For the Handmade Orecchiette:
- 2 cups semolina flour
- ⅔ – 1 cup boiling water
For the Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic diced
- 2 cups wild mushrooms sliced
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- 2 pinches nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh oregano for serving (optional)
- (If using store-bought pasta, skip to step three.) Pour the semolina four onto a clean work surface. Using your hand, make a well in the center of the flour. Pour in 2/3 cup of the boiling hot water, then use a fork to bring in the flour from the inside of the well and incorporate it with the water. Once it starts to come together, knead with your hands until it comes together into a ball of dough. If it is too dry, add some more water until it is malleable and slightly soft but not sticky to the touch.
- Cut the dough into 4 chunks and roll each into a long log, about ½ inch in diameter. Cut each log into 1/2 inch chunks. On a wooden cutting board, roll the dough using a knife at a 45-degree angle across the board, gently, towards you. Unroll each piece of dough over your thumb in the opposite direction to form a concave shape. Transfer to a baking sheet lightly sprinkled with semolina flour.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in the Handmade Orecchiette (or store-bought pasta) to your boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes (or directions on the box), until al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add 1 ½ cups of the wild mushrooms into the pan and saute for 3-4 minutes until the edges begin to caramelize and turn golden brown. Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes, then fry for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in the heavy cream and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to thicken. Season with nutmeg, lemon zest, salt, and pepper, to taste.
- Once cooked, drain the pasta and add straight into the sauce. Stir gently to combine and cook for a final 2-3 minutes. Divide into two large bowls, then top with more lemon zest and a sprinkle of fresh oregano. Serve immediately.