Autumn is coming and it calls for cosy moments with your friends and family, sharing a warm and convivial food.
Today’s recipe of Pasta al Coccio is a typical Florentine fall recipe that we got from our sweet friend Alice. Let’s go meet her in the following interview.
Do you want to introduce yourself, telling us where you are originally from and where you live at the moment?
My name is Alice and I’m 14 years old. I was born in Geneva but I live in the neighboring France where my parents moved before my birth. Because of CERN and international organizations there are people from a lot of nationalities, including many Italians.
Talking about food, what’s your favourite Italian recipe which you use to prepare often and easily?
My favourite kind of food is pasta, especially “Pasta al coccio“.
What product from Italy do you miss the most?
The product that I miss the most is parmigiano cheese because it’s difficult to find outside Italy, and I really like it.
INGREDIENTS for 4 servings:
350 gr (12 oz) short pasta (better smooth penne pasta)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup fresh peas (if you use frozen ones blanched for 5 min)
3 fresh mushrooms (porcini mushrooms are the best) or 1 packet dried mushrooms
3 tbs cream
100 g (3,5 oz) thick cut bacon, diced
1 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbs of Extra-Virgin olive oil
2 tbs truffle olive oil, to taste
1 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
Start by cleaning the porcini mushrooms if they are fresh, by eliminating the soil-covered end of the stalk. Separate the stalks from the caps and eliminate any bruised parts. Then delicately pass a brush over all the parts needing to be cleaned. Finally, gently wipe the entire mushroom with a cloth or with the absorbent kitchen paper. Then chop the mushrooms.
If you are using dried porcini mushrooms put them in a bowl with warm water and allow them to plump up for about 20-30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms and chopped them.
In the coccio pot (earthenware pot) heat the extra virgine olive oil over medium heat, add the garlic and onion. When they begin to brown, add the bacon and mushrooms. Add white wine and let it cook for at least 5 minutes, until the mushrooms release their water. Then add the peas and cook under low heat, stirring occasionally.
While the mushroom sauce is setting, boil a pot of water and add pasta. Cook the pasta for half the cooking time on the package. Drain the pasta reserving the water (you will use it to finish cooking the pasta).
Toss the pasta in the pot with mushrooms sauce. Mix the cream into the sauce and keep on cooking until pasta is al dente, adding little by little the pasta-water.
Before serving, season with truffle olive oil and grated parmigiano cheese.
Tips: if you don’t have a earthenware pot, you can use a stainless – steel or cast iron sauté pan.