Restaurant food at home – rigatoni with portabella cream sauce

Tonight, I thought what I was making would be sort of just ok. I decided to combine a recipe I found in People Magazine (of all places) with a dish I order at one of my favorite restaurants in Lincoln Square, La Boca Della Verita. It’s a simple dish, but the flavors are deep and earthy.

I went into this with low expectations that it would only sort of get close to the real flavor of the restaurant. I put everything together, added a few of my own secret ingredients (of which I will not reveal), and served up a great, restaurant worthy dish that I would be willing (and have been willing, in the past) to pay good money for. This turned out to be one of my favorite things I’ve made recently.

Of course, I have a few self- critiques. Next time, I should not cook the sauce as long as I did. It sort of seized up and got a little too thick. I also should add a few more sun dried tomatoes. And I need a garnish.  Or, perhaps, I need to get darker serving dishes in order to get that colorful contrast I’m looking for? Anyway. This was one of the best taste adventures I’ve had in a little while, so I was pretty happy with the results.

The picture is definitely not doing it justice. Enjoy this one at home for yourself and also for a night when you have friends over and you want to impress with a great meal.


Rigatoni Morel (Adapted from Olivier Martinez’s recipe, found here)

1.75 oz. dried morels or a mixture of dried mushrooms
1 large shallot, diced
3½ tbsp. butter
1 cup white wine
2 cups heavy cream
1 lb. rigatoni

In a bowl, soak mushrooms in enough warm water to cover for at least 1 hour. Drain mushrooms, reserving soaking water.

In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat butter over medium-high heat and sauté mushrooms and shallots until liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add white wine and cook until wine evaporates, 5 to 6 minutes. Add soaking water and cook until water evaporates, about 8 minutes. Lower heat to medium. Pour in cream and cook until sauce has thickened and is light brown in color, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, prepare rigatoni according to package directions. Drain and pour into a serving bowl. Mix in sauce and serve.


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