This time of the year in Tuscany is supremely beautiful and we relish long walks through the vineyards and surrounding woods.  With the first heavy rains of the year, the porcini season comes in to its own giving us a great excuse to make some home-made pasta.

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 2 eggs
  • 200 gr white 00 flour
  • 300 grams fresh porcini mushrooms
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • a small bunch of parsley
  • Montecalvi Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sieve the flour to make a little volcano (with a crater in the middle) on your work-surface.  Pour the lightly beaten eggs in the crater and slowly incorporate the flour to make a dough, and then kneed for about 5 minutes. When it has a nice elasticity and sheen, let it rest under a clean cloth for about 30 minutes.  After which, give it another quick knead and pass it through the pasta-making machine.  You want to aim for a thin tagliatella shape (so the cut is about 1cm). When ready they only take a couple of minutes to cook in salted boiling water.

For the sauce, clean the porcini mushrooms of all impurities with a soft brush and then swiftly pass under the tap and dry with kitchen paper. Just a quick rinse, in case there is still some mud. Remove the green fur under the cap, and cut in to slices.

Crush the garlic and cut the chilli into fine slices. If you don’t have access to fresh porcini, you can do this with the dried type of course.

Warm a generous amount of olive oil in a pan, add the garlic and the chilli, and before the garlic starts turning colour, add the mushrooms, and salt fairly generously. On a medium heat these will be ready in about 10 minutes.  If the pan starts going dry, add a few spoons of boiling water from the pasta pot – just to keep everything moving.  Once the pasta is cooked, drain and toss in the pan with the mushrooms for a few seconds, to make sure it’s fully coated, adding the parsley.

Serve immediately with a very generous pour of Montecalvi Extra Virgin Olive Oil and freshly milled pepper on each plate.

Wine?  This dish is both insanely comforting as well as being rather sophisticated and therefore we choose to pair it with VV 2014, from the ancient Le Terrazze vines (planted in 1932).  This wine has been awarded 94 points by Falstaff and fills the soul and palate in equal measure.