Tube-Shaped Pasta with Wild Mushrooms
(Maccheroni con Funghi Selvaticci)
Chef Jonathan Waxman recommends using the best-possible artisanal pasta for this dish, and he adds that it's very important not to overcook it.
8 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, crushed, peeled, and finely minced
1/2 medium vidalia or other sweet onion, peeled and finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs. assorted fresh wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles
and porcini, washed, trimmed, and cut into large pieces
1/4 cup fino sherry
Leaves of 6 sprigs parsley, coarsely chopped
1 lb. quality tube-shaped pasta, such as Rustichella d'Abruzzo rigatoncini
3 oz. freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat until warm. Add 2 tbsp. of the oil, then add garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, transfer to a medium bowl, and set aside.
2. Return skillet to high heat. Add 2 tbsp. of the oil, then add half the mushrooms, and cook until moisture evaporates and mushrooms are lightly browned, 10–12 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to bowl with onions. Repeat process with 2 more tbsp. oil and remaining mushrooms. Return mushroom–onion mixture to skillet and stir well. Add sherry, scrape any browned bits stuck to bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon, and cook for 2 minutes. Add some water to skillet, if necessary, to make pan juices a little saucier. Add parsley, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for a few minutes. Adjust seasonings and keep warm over lowest heat.
3. Add a generous pinch of salt to pot of boiling water. Add pasta and cook, stirring often, until just cooked through, 12–13 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water, and return pasta to pot. Add mushroom–onion mixture, three-quarters of the cheese, and remaining oil to pasta and toss well , moistening pasta with some of the reserved pasta water, if you like. Transfer pasta to a warm serving platter and sprinkle with remaining parmigiano-reggiano.