Pasta with mushrooms in pesto sauce recipe

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Pasta with mushrooms in pesto sauce is a simple, easy to make, yet extremely delicious Italisn dish. As with most pasta dishes, the sauce is made while the pasta is cooking. This dish can be ready in 10 to 15 minutes, provided that you have soaked the dried mushrooms in advance. You can substitute the dried mushrooms with regular mushrooms but the taste will be far from the one when using dried one. You can also use a ready made pesto sauce, but it is very easy to make your own, and it will taste much better for sure.
Preparation time: 30 minutes, Cooking time: 10 minutes, Serves: 2 


1/2 cup dried wild mushrooms
1 cup thinly cut oyster mushrooms
1/2 cup fresh pesto sauce (see recipe below)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 lb penne
Grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves to garnish (optional)


Rehydrate the dried mushrooms
Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with hot water. Soak them for 15 to 30 minutes, until soft.

Get the mushrooms out of the water and squeeze lightly in your palm, to get rid of excess water. Reserve soaking water for later.

Cook the pasta
In a pot over high heat add enough water for the pasta. When the water comes to a boil add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta and cook al dente, according to directions on the package (usually between 7 to 12 minutes).

Make the sauce
While cooking the pasta, make the sauce. In a frying pan over medium high heat add the olive oil and butter. Add the wild mushrooms and oyster mushrooms and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning often. Add the pesto sauce, 1/3 cup of the mushroom soaking water and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Lower heat and simmer for 5 to 6 more minutes, stirring occationally.

When the pasta is ready, drain and add to the sauce. Stir well until the pasta is coated with the sauce and serve in individual dishes topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish with a few leaves of fresh basil.

Notes and tips

Pesto sauce recipe

2 - 3 cups (firmy packed) fresh basil leaves
4 Tbsp roughly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1 garlic clove
1 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
Olive oil

Add the fresh basil leaves, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic, pine nuts, salt, black pepper and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a blender and process until smooth. With the motor spinning, keep adding olive oil until you achieve the desired consistency. Pesto sauce should be smooth, with very small pieces of pine nuts and parmesan cheese. It should not be runny though, so take care not to add more olive oil than necessary. Empty the blender into a bowl and refrigerate. To keep pesto sauce for a longer time period, store it in an airtight container with about 1/3 inch olive oil on top.

Pesto Tips
You can make more pesto sauce and store it for a few months, as long as you use an airtight container and cover the pesto with a layer olive oil. You can also adjust the quantity of the ingredients used depending on your taste. You can, for example, increase or decrease the amount of Parmesan cheese, garlic and / or pine nuts. The basil leaves are probably the only thing you should not decrease.

You can also try using toasted almond nuts instead of pine nuts.
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