Pink spaghetti chitarra with wild mushrooms

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Pastel pink strands of freshly made spaghetti are coated in a creamy sauce packed with simply sautéed mushrooms in this beautiful starter from Aldo Zilli. Aldo uses a 'chitarra' machine to create a specific type of spaghetti, but if you don't have one at home you can simply cut the dough into fine ribbons.

First published in 2021







Begin by making the pasta. Beat the egg in a bowl with the beetroot purée
Place the flour in a bowl, add the salt and mix well. Make a well in the middle and pour in the beaten egg mixture. Working from the centre outwards, start to mix the egg into the flour until a dough forms. Knead slightly until smooth and pliable, then leave to rest for 30 minutes covered with a damp cloth
Use a rolling pin to roll out the pasta dough until 5mm thick, then press through a Chitarra machine (you could also use a sharp knife to cut the pasta into very thin strips). Place the spaghetti on a flour-dusted surface and set aside to cook later
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil
While you wait for the water to boil, place the oil in a frying pan and add the shallots and garlic. Cook over a low heat for 2 minutes
Turn up the heat to high, then add the mushrooms and thyme. Stir well, add the wine and bring to a simmer. Once the wine has reduced completely, add the vegetable stock and cream, then leave to reduce by half over a low heat for around 7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, then keep warm
Cook the pasta for 2 minutes in the boiling water, then drain and add to the sauce. Mix well, then add in a little of the parsley and cheese (reserving some for garnishing)
To serve, divide the dressed pasta between 2 serving dishes, using a metal ring to shape it into a neat cylinder if desired. Sprinkle with a little parsley, with some extra Parmesan on the side
First published in 2021

Chef Aldo Zilli has a collection of Italian restaurants across the world, has written over ten cookbooks and regularly appears on TV to share his vast knowledge of cooking.

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