Cavatoni | Fresh porcini mushrooms | Bacon | Green peppercorns

Something interesting happens when you combine green peppercorns and mushrooms, it is hard to describe.

I just love this time of year when I can find fresh porcini mushrooms at the market. Their flavor is subtle compared to the dried variety but oh so very rich and satisfying. They make a wicked risotto. If you can’t find fresh porcini, use about one once (28 g) of the dried ones soaked in warm water for 20 minutes and about 200 g of thinly sliced button mushrooms. Use some of the soaking liquid in your sauce for a more complex flavor.

It is important to use ”No salt added” beef broth here because you are reducing it. Using a salted broth would make your sauce way too salty. I used this artisan-made dry pasta here because I found some, but any pasta would do. This sauce would be great with pappardelle for example. Top with a poached egg with a runny yolk to enrich the sauce. Oh my!


2 thick slices of bacon, cut into lardons
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
100 g fresh porcini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 shallot, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cup no salt added beef broth
1/2 Madeira, sherry or dry Marsala
1 teaspoon green peppercorns in brine, drained
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving
200 g dry pasta


1. In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and put on paper towels to drain. Discard most of the bacon fat, leaving about one tablespoon in the skillet.
2. Add the olive oil to the skillet and cook the mushrooms over medium-high heat until brown. Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallot and garlic. Cook until the shallot is tender. Transfer to the paper towel with the bacon. Reserve.
3. In the same skillet you cooked the bacon and mushrooms, add the beef broth, the wine and the green peppercorns, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove the sticky bits. Reduce by half over medium heat.
4. When the sauce has reduced, return the mushrooms and bacon to the skillet, add the cream and cook for a few more minutes, until the sauce is thick. Season with salt if needed. Turn the heat off and reserve.
5. Cook the pasta in salted boiling water according to the instructions on the package and drain.
6. Over medium heat, mix the pasta with the sauce for one minute until combined. Add some parmesan cheese and serve in warm bowls.

Serves two.

9 replies »

  1. Do like the comment from aconsciousappetite. Yes, you have me with this combination. Heavenly! I’ve never tried green peppercorns with mushrooms before. I do like freshly grated nutmeg come Autumn, though.


  2. I bought this pasta on a whim yesterday and didn’t know what to do with it. Now I do!
    Didn’t have the porcini mushrooms and only had chestnut, but I’ll try with the dried ones next time. Great recipe and works a treat.


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