Penne Rigate with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Speck & Tomatoes

Sometimes I wonder how it is like to live in the mountains.  As I turn 360 degrees, the panorama doesn't stop captivating me with its beauty.  I have been going to the Dolomites for 12 summers already following my husband's footsteps of spending about 30 summers in these mountains.  How is it like that we never get tired of this place?

I used to tease him that he should explore other places in summer.  Now, I am the one who is hooked.  I even beat him in planning our summer mountain escape every year.  Our kids (our dog included) are the fourth generation who are taking their summer trips here.  They are growing up to be mountain lovers just like we had been hoping they would.

One by one, the kids wait for their turns for the last touch of tying the bandannas around their necks that go along with their tyrolean clothes & hiking boots before going out to trek with us.  There is always a fight on who gets the red bandanna because they both like it so we never give it as a choice.  Even our dog jumps for joy when he sees his own red bandanna. 

I found these fresh chanterelle mushrooms in the fruit & vegetable shop.  I was meaning to cook & preserve them with vinegar & extra virgin olive oil just like how my 5-year old loves it but since the shops close so early here, I didn't make it on time to buy a bottle of vinegar.  Gosh, in here, we are always on the run to try to make it to the shops before closing time.  We can never get used to the early closing times.  I cooked the mushrooms instead with speck & fresh tomatoes for the pasta sauce for dinner. 


Penne Rigate with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Speck & Tomatoes

Serves 4
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped finely 
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 150 grams speck, diced 
  • 250 grams chanterelle mushrooms or any similar mushroom
  • 300 grams cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 350 - 400 grams penne rigate or any short pasta
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • Parmigiano reggiano, grated

    1. Over medium heat, sautè the onions in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil.
    2. When the onions are cooked through, add the speck then toast.
    3. Add the mushrooms then toss with the speck for a few minutes. Let the liquid evaporate a little bit.
    4. Add the tomatoes then after about 5 minutes, add the red wine. Maintain the medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
    5. While waiting for the sauce to thicken, over high heat, boil a pot of water for the pasta. When the water boils, put some salt then the pasta. Cook the pasta 2 minutes less in the suggested cooking time in the package.
    6. When the pasta is cooked, drain but save a cup of the water used in cooking if needed.
    7. In the saucepan with the sauce, add the cooked pasta and toss for about 3 minutes, mixing well.
    8. Season with salt and pepper. If needed, add some of the water used for cooking the pasta.
    9. Add the parsley, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano before serving.