1/2ouncepackage dried wild mushrooms, any variety (I used Chanterelles)
3/4lbpasta, any shape
4-5cupsfresh wild mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1large shallot, minced
2tspfresh thyme leaves stripped from the stems
2tspfresh sage, chopped or thinly sliced
1/3cupMarsala wineor other fortified or dry white wine
1/2cupgrated Gruyere cheese plus more for optional garnish
1/3cupchopped toasted hazelnuts
salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Heat the cream to a simmer on the stove or in the microwave, then add the dried mushrooms. Make sure the mushrooms are submerged in the hot cream, cover, and set aside for 20 minutes while you continue cooking.
Cook the pasta until just al dente in plenty of well salted water. Drain and keep warm.
While the pasta is cooking, saute your mushrooms, in batches, in a large skillet. You can saute them in butter or olive oil, or do it in a dry pan, which is my preference. Saute until they have begun to lose their moisture and are turning golden. Remove to a plate.
Add the butter to the same pan and saute the shallots. garlic, thyme and sage over medium low heat for several minutes until softened but not browned.
Add the Marsala to the pan and let it bubble down, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the pan.
Strain the mushrooms from the cream and add the cream to the pan and swirl everything together. Bring up to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Turn down the heat and stir in the cheese, just until it starts to melt.
Chop the hydrated mushrooms and add them to the pan along with the other mushrooms.
Add the pasta to the pan and give everything a good mix. If the pasta has cooled, bring it up to temperature.
Serve right away, garnished with the nuts, extra cheese if you like, and more fresh herbs.