Theo Randall’s Porcini, Tomatoes and Cream Sauce for Pasta

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This pasta sauce recipe comes from Theo Randall’s ‘Pasta’ book. It is very rich and sweet and tomatoey. Totally delicious.

Theo says: “When you add the cream to this dish, it’s best to let it cook without stirring it in, otherwise the sauce becomes emulsified and too creamy. If you don’t stir it, not only does it taste better but you also get a lovely, rippled effect of cooked cream and bright red tomato sauce.”

Theo recommends using tagliatelle pasta, but I’ve gone for this marvellous Fusilli Lunghi from the Tesco finest* range (it was sent to me for review).

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I find the pre-Raphaelite-style curls are a brilliant vehicle for transporting the sauce from plate to mouth!

Dried porcini mushrooms are widely available, but I dried my own in a very low oven at home using some marvellously meaty specimens imported by my local deli, Giacobazzis.

Serves 2-4

2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic clove
20g dried porcini mushrooms (the recipe calls for 50g, but they are pretty expensive, so I’ve used a lesser amount)
400g tin chopped tomatoes
5 tbsp double cream
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
250g fusilli lunghi, cooked according to packet instructions, approx. 8-10 mins
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve

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1. Heat the olive oil in a large fryingpan. Add the garlic and gently cook for 1 minute.

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2. Soak the dried porcini in 100ml hot water for 10 mins. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid.

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3. Add the mushrooms to the pan and then gradually add half the soaking water. Cook for 10 mins or until the mushrooms are soft; the liquid should have reduced to a syrupy consistency.

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4. Add the tomatoes and cook slowly for 20 mins, until the sauce is reduced and thickened.

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5. Add the double cream but don’t stir. Let the cream cook into the sauce for 3-5 mins, then add the chopped parsley and season to taste. At this point, you’ll have to stir the sauce a little but try not to do it too much.

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6. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and add to the sauce over a low heat for 1 minute, then serve with grated Parmesan and black pepper.

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