Pasta alla Chitarra with Mushrooms


Pasta alla Chitarra with mushrooms is one of my favorite pasta dishes.  This is Abruzzo’s signature pasta – made with a pasta guitar (it looks like a harp) to produce squrish-shaped spaghetti.

The sauce is very simple – cooks in about 10 minutes including preparation.  When sauces take minutes, I prepare it when the pasta is cooking.

One of my best friends in Rome, Elena gifted me a bag of dried porcini mushrooms.  I use them for special occasions and stored in my pantry where they are out of reach!

To restore the porcini back to life – add a cup of porcini to approx.  two cups of  hot water.  Set aside for twenty minutes, draining and rinsing well.  Save the flavorful liquid by adding to a next day risotto or a tender roast beef.  My grandmother haunts me when I throw out anything – it’s part of my roots!

In a large skillet, heat on medium-low, a drizzle of olive oil and butter (approx. 1 tbsp) and add two crushed cloves of garlic for a minute or until the garlic turns golden.  Add the porcini and saute for approx. five minutes.  Add one cup of the porcini liquid and a tsp. of tomato paste.  Remove the garlic and stir the sauce as the tomato paste dissolves.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and a handful of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup) to the skillet.  Mix the pasta in the sauce before serving.  Sprinkle finely chopped parsley (optional).

a presto,


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