Pasta with Mushroom Trifolata
Sometimes, olive oil is the only pasta sauce you need. For centuries, Mediterranean cooks have used olive oils to make vinaigrettes, baste and drizzle over roasts, and infuse with flavors to use as pasta sauces on their own. Mushroom trifolata—a sauce made by searing then gently confiting mushrooms in a bath of olive oil—is best when made using a robust extra virgin olive oil and a mix of wild mushrooms like oyster, crimini, and chanterelles. The mushrooms turn silky and tender while releasing their rich, umami flavor into the oily sauce.
What You Will Need
- Kosher salt
- 3⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 1 medium white onion, finely diced (¾ cup)
- 3 finely minced garlic cloves (1 Tbsp.)
- 1 lb. 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, brushed clean and cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1⁄3 cup dry white wine
- 1 lb. fresh wide noodles (mafaldine or fettuccine)
- 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
- 1⁄4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shaved in wide ribbons
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are softened and translucent, 5–7 minutes. Add the garlic, then stir in the mushrooms. Continue cooking until they are lightly browned in places and just beginning to soften, 5–6 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, and cook until the liquid has reduced, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining olive oil, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover the pan, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are very tender and the oil is infused with their flavor, about 15–20 minutes. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- When the mushrooms are nearly done, cook the pasta: stir the noodles into the boiling water and cook, stirring frequently, until they are al dente, 3–5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Stir the pasta into the mushroom mixture, adding reserved cooking liquid as needed if the sauce seems dry. Stir in the parsley, then transfer the pasta and mushrooms to a large serving platter. Top with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, drizzle with additional olive oil, and serve.