This little porcini went to market. This little porcini stayed home. And this little porcini went wee, wee, wee, all the way onto my tagliatelle. Porcini, plural for porcino, or piglet, are a favorite of man and swine alike. Formally known as boletus edulis, they are said to have been given the name porcini over the centuries in Italy both because they look like piglets and/or because pigs love to eat them.
Boldly flavored Porcini are very versatile, partially because they can be dried, and then reconstituted with water, but also because they’re delicious with pasta, risotto, soup, and even on their own as a contorno (side dish). Although Italian folklore has it that they sprout with the new moon, in reality they do well with a lot summer rain, followed by the autumn drop in fall soil temperatures. You and your pigs can find them near pine, spruce, hemlock and fir trees, though I suggest that you pay a little more and get them at the market and then quickly onto your own tagliatelle.
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Clean the mushrooms. If using dried porcini, soak them in cold water for 20-30 minutes until their size and moisture are restored. Slice them into bite- sized pieces.
In a large skillet, over medium heat sauté the garlic in the olive oil until it’s golden. Add the mushrooms and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Cook the pasta until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the package directions). Drain, and retain one cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the mushrooms. Add the parsley, and then cook together for about a minute. Add some of the retained cooking water if the pasta seems too dry.
Serve with grated Parmigiano.