Pasta & hongos de pino


I recently received a big bag of Hongos de Pino from the snowy Barilouche, a ski town close to Chili known for their chocolates and mushrooms.

Hongos de pino aka pine mushrooms or matsutake grow in the Alto Valley of Rio Negro here in Argentina and are considered quite the prized possession.

They have a strong earthy- aromatic odor with a meaty sponge like texture that results in THE BEST MUSHROOMS I’VE EVER HAD!!!

Never having cooked with them before I opted for a simple pasta dish to showcase their unique flavor, and boy did I do good!

Pasta con Hongos de Pino:

  • 100 grams of pine mushrooms, hongos de pino
  • 2 onions, cebollas
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, dientes de ajo
  • olive oil, aceite de oliva
  • green onion, verdeo
  • romano cheese to taste, queso romano al gusto
  • 1.5 cups of cream, crema
  • 1 bag of farfalle, una bolsa defarfalle
  • salt & pepper, sal y pimienta

Place the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with warm water and set aside.  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta til al dente.

Slice the onion and mince the garlic.  Heat a wok or saute pan with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil and add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat before adding the garlic.  Once the mushrooms are soft add them to the pan along with the soaking liquid and lower the heat.  Lightly simmer for 7-10 minutes, add the cream and a big pinch of salt and continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

Strain the pasta and reserve half of a cup of the cooking liquid and add it to the mushroom mix along with the romano (freshly grated!), cracked pepper and another pinch of salt.  Add the pasta and toss for 2 minutes until everything is nicely coated.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  Garnish with thin slices of green onion and serve piping hot.