Frank Bonanno, sous-chef at Mel's Bar & Grill, developed this three-mushroom pasta when he was the chef at Bruno's.
Plus: Pasta Recipes and Tips
1 head of garlic
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 plum tomatoes, quartered
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup dried porcini (scant 1/2 ounce)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 pound assorted fresh mushrooms, such as chanterelles and stemmed shiitakes, halved or quartered if large
2 tablespoons dry Marsala
1/2 pound farfalle
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
6 basil leaves, finely shredded
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 425°. Cut 1 inch off the top of the garlic and set the head on a piece of aluminum foil, cut side up. Pour 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over the cut garlic, wrap it in the foil and roast for about 1 hour or until very tender. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the skins into a small bowl and mash well. Cover with plastic wrap.
Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss the tomato wedges with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay the tomato wedges on their sides and roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender and browned on the bottom. Using a spatula, transfer the tomatoes to a plate.
In a small heatproof bowl, cover the porcini with the boiling water and set aside to soften, about 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the liquid and rinse them under running water to remove any grit; reserve the liquid.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the fresh mushrooms in an even layer, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, without stirring, until deep brown on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Stir the mushrooms and continue to cook until tender, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the shallot to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the Marsala and simmer until reduced by half. Pour in the reserved mushroom soaking liquid, stopping when you reach the grit at the bottom. Add the porcini and the roasted garlic puree.
Cook the farfalle in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, rewarm the roasted tomatoes and the mushroom sauce. Add the sautéed fresh mushrooms to the sauce, swirl in 1 tablespoon of the butter and season with salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta and toss it with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Add the mushroom sauce and toss well. Mound the pasta in 2 shallow bowls and top with the roasted tomato wedges, Parmesan shavings and basil.
The dish shouts out for a hearty, rich Southern Italian red.
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