Porcini Linguini with a Garlic Cream Sauce and Asparagus

In this recipe I have infused the linguini with porcini powder (this is available from many specialist food shops), if you can't find this product you can grind dried porcini to a powder or use a little truffle paste instead. Home made pasta is always nicer and lighter than the commercial varieties. If you haven't tried making it before here's' your chance, with a little practice you will be surprised at how easy it is.

Portions: 4-6 Portions

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: 5 minutes

Ingredients

Pasta

  • 500g Tipo flour (00) or bread flour (000)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp porcini powder or 1 tsp truffle paste

Garlic Cream Sauce

  • 1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
  • 375ml white wine
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised with the back of a knife
  • 150ml double cream

Asparagus

  • 2 asparagus bunches, trimmed to spears 5-7cm long

Method

  1. Pasta by Food Processor: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and process it until you have a moist breadcrumb like consistency. Tip the mixture out onto a work surface and bring together with your hands so that you have a ball of dough. If it is to dry add a little water and if to wet add some more flour. Knead the mixture for a couple of minutes until it has some elasticity. Make the dough into 4 balls and cover them with cling film and place it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  2. By Hand: Place the flour out onto a work top and make a well in the centre. In a bowl beat the egg, oil and herbs together, pour this mixture into the well in the centre of the flour. Using your your hands bring the flour into the egg mixture and gradually combine it until you have a dough. Knead the dough for couple of minutes until it is firm and has elasticity. Make the dough into 4 balls, cover them with cling film and place them in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  3. Pasta: Remove the dough from the refrigerator and starting with one ball of dough roll it out so that it is around 1 cm thick. Set a pasta machine to the lowest setting and pass the pasta through it 3 times. Then set the pasta machine to a higher setting and pass it through, then reduce the setting and repeat the process to the last or second last setting so that the pasta is very thin and long. If the pasta becomes sticky dust it with a little flour.
  4. Fettuccine or Linguine: Cut the sheet of pasta in half and pass each sheet through the fettuccine setting on your pasta machine or . Hang the pasta up on a wooden pasta holder or weighted broom handles. Alternatively you can cut the pasta into shapes on a flour dusted surface or cut into lasagne sheets or use it for ravioli.
  5. Storage: Cook the pasta soon after preparing it or leave it to dry or 3-5 hours and then store it in a sealed storage container in a cool place for up to a month.
  6. Garlic Cream Sauce: Place the chicken or vegetable stock in a saucepan with the white wine and garlic cloves. Bring the stock to the boil, then reduce to a strong simmer and leave it to reduce down by two thirds. Stir in the cream and return to a strong simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the stove and puree the sauce with the garlic cloves and return to the saucepan. Keep the sauce warm until ready to serve.
  7. To Cook Pasta: Bring a large pot of boiling water to the boil and place the pasta in it and cook it for around 2 minutes until al dente.
  8. Drain the pasta and toss it with the hot garlic sauce
  9. Asparagus: Place the asparagus tips in a saucepan of boiling water and simmer for 3-5 minutes until just tender but still firm and green. Drain and serve at once.
  10. To Serve: Serve the pasta hot with asparagus tips scattered over the top. Alternatively toss the asparagus with the pasta and sauce until well distributed. If serving the pasta as a side dish place the asparagus spears underneath a ball of linguine, produced by twisting it on a fork. Drizzle a little truffle oil over the top (optional). Serve