This recipe comes from Cook Italy, where I had the opportunity to learn to make two different pasta dishes from Carmelita. This sausage mushroom pasta served with freshly made tagliatelle was divine!
The tagliatelle pasta for this recipe was made fresh, right at Carmelita’s table. It was made with the same pasta recipe we used to make the farfalle (bowtie) pasta, but cut instead into long strips. Once cut, we allowed the pasta to dry slightly on trays while we worked on making the sauce.
Sausage and Mushroom Pasta
So, here’s the thing that we learned from Carmelita. Americans are a bit heavy-handed with the pasta sauce. Good Italian pasta isn’t drenched in sauce. Rather, it’s lightly coated, allowing diners to enjoy the flavor of the pasta. (I mean, who’s gonna argue about tasting freshly made tagliatelle!??)
Mushrooms — Both fresh and dried are used here, to give a strong earthy flavor. Don’t discard your soaking water, as it will be perfect to use to thin the sauce.
Pasta — I encourage you to make your own for this recipe! Go all-in and make sausage and mushroom tagliatelle completely from scratch for the ultimate dinner. The ingredients are simple, calling for just flour and eggs. Of course, if you’re looking for a shortcut, you could certainly use dried pasta.
Making Pasta from Scratch
Learn how to make your own tagliatelle from just two simple ingredients (plus patience!). I go into depth process of making homemade Italian pasta from scratch, but here’s a quick overview and a peek at Carmelita’s pasta making lesson.
Start by measuring the flour into a shallow bowl, making sure that the flour completely covers the bottom of the bowl.
Beat the egg so that it’s thoroughly blended, but don’t whip it.
Pour the beaten egg into the flour. Gently swirl the bowl, causing the egg to move within the flour. You’ll begin to see the egg pick up a dusting of flour. (This is visible in the video below.)
After a fair bit of flour has worked its way onto the surface of the egg, work the flour into the egg with your fingers, pinching bits of flour at a time, working the flour into the egg very slowly, bringing flour from the edge of the well into the egg.
How to Make Sausage Mushroom Pasta
Soak the dehydrated mushrooms. Once ready, reserve the liquid and chop the mushrooms.
Cook the fresh mushrooms, then combine in a bowl with oil and the rehydrated porcini.
Cook the sausage and let it rest off the heat while you prepare the pasta.
Cook either fresh or dried pasta to al dente. Make sure not to cook too long as they will be tossed with the hot sauce and continue cooking.
Reheat the mushrooms and sausage with a touch of butter while the pasta completes its cooking time.
Combine everything in the hot pan and serve immediately.
How do I use dried porcini mushrooms?
These are sold in the produce section by the fresh mushrooms. Grab a package and bring it home to soak in warm water – this is a must!. This will rehydrate the mushrooms and release all of their earthy, woodsy flavor. These are very strong with mushroom flavor and adds a lot to the sauce.
What sausage can I use?
Reach for ground pork for authentic flavor. It will be seasoned with the mushrooms and parsley, but you can adjust any seasoning to your liking such as adding black pepper.
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- 1/3 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, (10 grams)
- 4 sprigs flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 5/8 cup tagliatelle pasta, (400 grams)
- 2/3 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced (300 grams)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1/4 pound ground pork sausage, (113 grams)
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Drain and reserve mushroom liquor. Chop rehydrated mushrooms into 1/4" pieces.
- Remove stems from parsley. Dice leaves and set aside.
- Place fresh sliced mushrooms in a large skillet and cook over medium heat with no added fat. Allow mushrooms to brown, stirring occasionally. When nicely colored, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the rehydrated porcini mushrooms. Transfer to bowl.
- Add sausage to the pan and cook until brown and crumbled.
- Turn off heat until you're ready to add the pasta to the pot. (This allows you to get part of your meal prepared ahead of time!)
- Bring 6 quarts of water to boil in a large stock pot. Transfer freshly made tagliatelle pasta to the boiling water and boil for 1 to 3 minutes. Fresh pasta takes substantially less time to cook than dried pasta.
- When you begin cooking the pasta, add parsley and garlic to the pan of sausage along with the mushrooms and return to heat.
- Add a walnut sized piece of butter (that's Carmelita's phrase -- let's say a tablespoon or two!) and the reserved liquid from the porcini mushrooms to the pan. Allow to simmer for a minute or two.
- Drain the pasta, toss with the mushroom sauce, and serve.
Adding grated Parmesan cheese is not usual and is frowned upon by some Italians, but Carmelita says feel free if it makes you happy!
You can certainly replace the fresh tagliatelle pasta with a dried, store bought version, but you'll need to adjust the cooking time according to package directions.
Optional: Garnish with fresh parsley and add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes if you like a little spice.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 447Saturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 212mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 14g
Originally published November 2019; this post has been updated.