A dish typical of the Chianti region of Tuscany, this pasta features a variety of mushrooms paired with a thick, velvety tomato and cream sauce.

Reprinted with permission from Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner? by Lisa Caponigri, 2012. Published by Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co.


  • 6 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • Salt
  • 2 pounds penne or other long tubular pasta
  • 1 cup Lisa's Classic Tomato Sauce (see recipe below)
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream or panna da cucina
  • 6 ounces parmigiano-reggiano, grated
  • 6 cloves garlic, cut in half, green sprouts removed if necessary
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cans (28 ounces each) crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried italian oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Make Lisa's Classic Tomato Sauce: In a large pot, heat the garlic in the olive oil over low heat for 3 minutes. Don't allow the garlic to brown. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and simmer over very low heat for 2 to 4 hours.
  • In a medium bowl, soak the porcini in 1 cup warm water for 30 minutes. 
    In a large skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring, until softened.
  • Drain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the soaking water. Rinse the porcini and add them to the skillet with the other mushrooms.
  • Cook, stirring, until they lose their liquid, about 5 minutes.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (if using penne, cook for 7 minutes). Meanwhile, pour the reserved porcini soaking water through a fine mesh strainer to remove any sand. Slowly add the porcini water and then the tomato sauce to the mushroom mixture, stirring.
  • Add the cream and stir well. Drain the pasta, add to the sauce, and mix well. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano and serve