Porcini Pesto Pasta

By Mary Berg
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This pasta dish is bursting with flavour, it's fresh and delicious! With a freshly made basil pesto, buttery porcini mushrooms, and topped with crunchy walnuts, this is perfect for garlic and pasta lovers. 



Porcini Pasta

  • 3 (200 to 250 g) fresh lasagna sheets
  • 1 14 g package (about ½ cup) dried Porcini mushrooms
  • ½ cup lightly packed fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon
  • 2 tablespoon finely grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1 tablespoon walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot, finely minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine

Pesto Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup finely grated Pecorino cheese, plus more for serving
  • Zest of ½ a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon basil, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and black pepper for seasoning


For the Porcini Pasta

  1. Lay the lasagna sheets out on a cutting board and cut into long strips about 1 ½ cm (3/4-inch) wide.
  2. Soak the dried Porcini mushrooms in 1 cup hot tap water for 25 minutes to rehydrate.

To Make the Pesto Sauce

  1. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a small food processor or a mortar and pestle, combine the basil, tarragon, Pecorino, walnuts and garlic and blitz to finely chop. 
  2. Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper and continue to blitz until well combined but still a bit textured.

Back to the Mushrooms 

  1. Heat the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and add in the shallot. Season with salt and pepper and cook until tender and just slightly golden, about 3 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the Porcini mushrooms from their liquid and reserve both. Gently squeeze the mushrooms to remove excess water and roughly chop. Add to the pan and continue to cook on medium heat until the mushrooms are lightly golden, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the white wine and cook for 2 minutes or until most of the wine has been absorbed. Pour ½ cup of the Porcini steeping liquid into the pan, being careful to leave any grit that may have settled at the bottom of the liquid behind and discard the rest. Simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half.

For the Lasagna Noodles 

  1. Place a large pot of water over high heat, season well with salt, and bring to a boil. Cook the pasta for 2 to 3 minutes or just until al dente.
  2. Reserving approximately 1 cup of cooking liquid, transfer the pasta from the pot directly into the mushroom mixture and stir in the herby pesto.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking liquid to bring everything together and turn the heat down to low and allow the pasta to keep warm while you make the crunchy topping.

To Make the Topping 

  1. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the panko and cook, stirring constantly, until golden and crisp, about 1 minute. 
  2. Transfer the panko to a small bowl and allow it to cool slightly before tossing in the Pecorino and herbs then season to taste with salt and pepper.

To Serve 

  1. Add a splash more of the pasta cooking liquid to the pasta if it seems a bit thick.
  2. Serve immediately sprinkled with the topping and additional Pecorino, if desired. Enjoy!

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