Rigatoni à la Bordelaise with cèpes

Ever since I made the ‘escargots à la Bordelaise’, an improvised recipe given to me by my lovely snail farmer friends, I have been longing to make it again, with or without snails. The rich succulent sauce, filled with bits of sausage meat, red wine and fragrant shallots filled my mind with so many ideas. Last week-end, it was a perfect occasion to start using my frozen cèpes mushrooms, the ones I proudly picked last month in the Médocan forest. So there it was, my wishful thinking coming to life. Rigatoni pasta, cèpes and Bordelaise sauce. All those earthy flavours mixed together form the perfect plat du jour. As I did not have any sausages, I used pancetta, which was equally délicieux.

I get such a kick from making this meal. The smell of the evaporating wine is so inviting, different shades of reds and browns glistening in my cast-iron cocotte. The aromas get really interesting when I add the cèpes, bringing me straight back to the forest. It’s amazing how cooking can transport you to such adventurous places.

Ingredients: (serves 4-6)

500 g rigatoni pasta
200 g pancetta (diced)
5 large cèpes (sliced, you can also use fresh or dried porcini)
2 small shallots (finely sliced)
2 garlic cloves (finely sliced, one for the sauce, one for the cèpes)
400 ml tomato passata
200 ml red wine (I used a very modest Bordeaux)
80 ml beef or chicken broth
1 tbsp plain flour
Olive oil (for frying)
1 tbsp butter (for cèpes)
1 tbsp butter (for pasta)
Salt and pepper (for seasoning)
1 pinch chilli powder
Grated parmesan cheese (for topping)
A bunch of parsley

In a large pan, heat olive oil and add minced garlic and shallots . Cook until soft and slightly golden, about 3 minutes. Add the pancetta and continue to cook until browned. Take the pan off the heat, add 1 tbsp of flour and mix well. Return to heat, add tomato passata, mix well, cover and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes. Add chicken broth, red wine, salt, pepper and chilli. Cover and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Heat the frying pan till sizzling hot, place the cèpes mushrooms to ‘dry them out’ for a few minutes on each sides, season with salt and pepper. Add butter and garlic and continue frying on a high heat until golden.

Mix pasta with sauce, add a tbsp of butter, add cèpes mushrooms. Sprinkle with parsley and parmesan. Serve immediately.

15 thoughts on “Rigatoni à la Bordelaise with cèpes

  1. That looks delicious – it’s amazing how a few cèpes can transform a simple dish of pasta into something quite luxurious. We haven’t had much success with freezing uncooked cèpes, they become a little mushy when defrosted. Do you slice them or freeze whole?

    1. Bonjour Zelda! This pasta dish was so delicious, and I love the fact that I picked the cèpes! Makes the meal even more gratifying:) After cleaning them, I slice them, some finely, some coarsely, depending on the meal I will make. When I cook them, I take them straight out of the freezer onto a sizzling hot pan, to dry them out, then I add butter, garlic and parsley at the very end. Bon dimanche! Mimi

  2. OK, I have to tell you that I love all the details in your photos! The spilled wine, that amazing crack in the marble. It’s as if the photos have their own mysterious story to tell, but they compliment your words perfectly as well. That being said, your rigatoni sounds amazing. I, too, had no idea you could freeze cèpes. How wonderful to be able to save the fruits of your labour, to be used at just the right time. Have a lovely day!

  3. It is interesting how sights, sounds and aromas can trigger memories that have been tucked away, seemingly forgotten, for such a long time. Then, out of the blue, something small and insignificant can bring it all back as if it all happened just yesterday.

    Your rigatoni recipe combines two of my favorite ingredients…pancetta and rigatoni. In the United States pasta dishes are often served with too much and a tomato based sauce that is too heavy. Your sauce recipe sounds as if everything is in a proper balance. Some crusty bread, a nice glass of wine, a warm fire and I will be ready fo enjoy a lovely meal. Thank you for another nice day in the Medoc.

  4. soooo delicous. I smell the grand flowers of all the good ingredients. hmmmmmm….. lovely.
    I am soo happy to be able to read your blog.
    really great.

  5. So simple and beautiful. 🙂 I don’t care for mushrooms, I’m afraid, but I love the idea of them. 🙂 So I will just be happy looking at these gorgeous photos and the wonderful feeling of home and coziness they bring. 🙂

  6. As always great food ideas, fabulous photos and a wonderful read. I really look forward to reading your thoughts and recipes.

  7. I saw my first ever fresh porcini (Italian cepes) last fall in a market in Florence. I almost cried to see those perfectly plump little “piglets”! Here in the States we mostly find them dried and imported, although they can be found fresh around the Bay Area of California. Beautiful, simple dish!

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