Penne in a creamy mushroom sauce / penne in una salsa cremosa del fungo

Penne in a creamy mushroom sauce / Penne in una salsa cremosa del fungo

Penne (or ‘pen’) is a well-known variety of Italian pasta that is said to have arisen from the south of Italy, in the region of Campania. Otherwise known as ‘quills’, this tubular Napolese variety is cut diagonally at the ends, which creates its quill-pen likeness.

Credit: Adapted from a recipe in the book “Taste of Italy” published by Paragon Books, Bath, UK


  • 50 g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 shallots, sliced
  • 450 g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp plain flour
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp of a good red wine
  • 115 g sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 350 g Italian dried penne pasta
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley to garnish


  1. Melt the butter with the olive oil on a low heat in a large heavy-based frying pan. Add the shallots and cook over a low heat stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook over a low heat for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper then sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually stir in the cream and port. Return to the heat, add the sun-dried tomatoes and grated nutmeg and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large heavy-based saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the pasta, return to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes, or according to the packet instructions. Drain the pasta well and add to the mushroom sauce and mix thoroughly. Cook on a low heat for 3 minutes, then transfer to a warmed serving dish. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.
Piazza del Duomo, Amalfi, Campania, Southern Italy

Penne in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce (well, fusilli actually)
I halved the quantities. Managed to get shallots but not chestnut mushrooms (I was too cold & grumpy to go further afield…) but large flat mushrooms were a very good substitute. Used creme fresh instead of double cream and a tbs of rich fruity merlot in place of port.
Forgot to take a pic of the ingredients.
I found this one very easy to make and it had a richly delicate flavour – I could taste every ingredient but there wasn’t one that dominated. Overall score 10/10 (and no leftovers …)
Hope these are useful John. Perhaps u need a section for the “alternative” versions!!
Lots a love to you both
from Ros and Bella the Cat xxx

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