Rich and evocative of the forest, pasta with a wild mushroom sauce is full of flavour and deeply satisfying.

If ever there was magic in our kitchen cupboard it is in a basket of wild mushrooms, porcini or perhaps shitake. No ingredient have so much to offer in pure robust flavour. Whether you like to forage your own mushrooms, cultivate them yourself or simply pick some up from your local farmers market the flavour they produce is the very essence of the forest floor.

All you need really is a few handful to fry in a pan with butter and garlic, but not too heavy on the garlic though as the very essence of mushroom is what you’re after. It’s a mistake however to make a wild mushroom pasta sauce with only mushroom stock – it needs some chicken stock in there, for the correct consistency and to act as a foil to the powerful woodsy flavour.

A substantial receptacle such as homemade pasta is just what your fungi magic needs. Something to lap up the sauces and transform a simple sauce into a gourmet delight. A dish that is elegant enough to eat as a first course but also robust enough to hold it’s own as a main.

Homemade tagliatelle with wild mushroom sauce

serves 6
For the pasta dough:
  • 400g of flour
  • 6 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • Dash of extra virgin olive oil
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Semolina (for dusting)

For the wild mushroom sauce:

  • 30g of butter
  • 800g of wild mushrooms , chopped
  • 2 garlic clove, whole
  •  1 sprig of thyme
  • 100ml of tomato puree
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 50g of parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

To make the pasta mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle, and pour in the eggs and olive oil.

Using a fork to gradually stir in the flour until the mixture becomes a dough. As the mixture becomes dough you can use your hand to gradually mix in the remaining flour until you have a dough. Knead for about 10minutes until it is firm and smooth and form it into a ball. Wrap the ball of dough in cling film and let it rest in the fridge for 40min.

Roll out the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1 cm thick and will go through widest setting of your pasta machine. Put it through twice, then fold it back in on itself, and repeat the process, cutting it in half when it becomes too long to handle. Work it through until you get to setting 3.

When the pasta has a good sheen to it, dust the dough with flour. Tagliatelle should be cut using a sharp knife, or the cutter on your pasta machine. Dust the tagliatelle with a mix of flour and semolina and hang to dry.

To make the sauce heat olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the whole garlic and thyme until the garlic is a golden colour. Add your mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring 3 to 4 minutes or until softened.

Add tomato puree and toss mushrooms in the puree. Add the chicken stock, bring to boil. Simmer with the lid on for 10-15 minutes and then for another 5 min without the lid or until the liquid reduces by half.

While the sauce is cooking bring salted water to the boil in a large pasta pot. Add the fresh tagliatelle and cook until the pasta is al dente.

Drain then add to the sauce and cook for 1 min, add parmesan cheese and butter and  serve with a generous grinding of black pepper.


Lapo Magni shared this delicious recipe with Eatsplorer. He opens his home to small groups of diners who come to enjoy beautiful meals that place the spotlight on fresh, seasonal and some foraged ingredients sourced from passionate small-scale producers. If you are keen to try chef Lapo’s delicious cuisine first-hand a place at his table can be booked exclusively through Eatsplorer; in the meantime, try Chef Lapo’s recipe yourself.

Looking for the best new food and drink experiences around Cape Town? 

Let's get you on our mailing list! We pinkie-promise to only send you the good stuff. You know - tasty new experiences, fun outings, a few exclusive offers…


Production: Eatsplorer | Photography: Kleinjan Groenewald