Fresh Fettucini with Hedgehog or Shiitake Mushrooms and Ricotta – Quick and Easy Recipe


The luxurious quality of this dish belies how simple it is to make. Really you do most of the work at the market, acquiring great fresh pasta, ricotta, and mushrooms. Come dinner time, all you have to do is boil the noodles and saute the fungi.

I made this dish with hedgehog mushrooms, which taste very much like chanterelles, but are a little less expensive and have a later season. If they are done in your area, cultivated shiitakes seem to be available year-round now and would also be delicious. King oyster mushrooms work too.

Italians will tell you that it isn't a question of fresh or dried pasta being better. They are just different, and each marries best with a certain range of sauces. Fresh pasta is especially well suites to cream sauces, and you can think of a big dollop of fresh ricotta as the world's simplest cream sauce.

You could of course make the pasta yourself, but then we aren't in weeknight-dinner territory, we are in project land. You can find fresh pasta at many farmer's markets, or in the refrigerator section of a good grocer. The quality of the grocery store stuff varies, so you might have to experiment to find a brand you like.

[If you happen to live in Seattle, DeLaurenti's in Pike Place Market sells Calabro ricotta in bulk, and also cuts fresh pasta to order. They barely advertise it, but if you look over in the corner between the cheese counter and the checkout, you will see a sign with the various shapes and doughs. Delicious stuff. Walk out the door to the produce vendors, buy your mushrooms and a Meyer lemon, and you are all set for dinner.]

Fresh Fettucini with Hedgehog or Shiitake Mushrooms and Ricotta
Vegetarian; not vegan or gluten-free
Serves 4 as a main course

  • 1 pound fresh fettucini noodles
  • 1 pound fresh ricotta (preferably Calabro)
  • 1 pound mushrooms (hedgehog, chanterelle, shiitake, king oyster… probably not standard white buttons)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • zest of one lemon, Meyer if possible
  • sea salt (Maldon (aka the world’s greatest salt)!)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Get the ricotta out of the fridge so it isn't ice cold when you serve it.
  3. Clean, trim and slice the mushrooms. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Saute the mushrooms until tender and browning, about 8 minutes. During the saute you may need to adjust the heat so that the butter isn't burning.
  4. Boil the pasta, either according to package directions or until it is al dente. Fresh pasta doesn't take as long as dried, usually just a few minutes. Taste a bite frequently, and stop the moment it is done.
  5. Drain the pasta and toss with the remaining tablespoon of butter.
  6. To serve, divide the pasta among 4 bowls and top with the mushrooms, ricotta, lemon zest, more salt, and a good grind of black pepper.
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Posted by Michael Natkin on Thursday, January 22nd, 2009 in Main Courses, Recipes.

9 Responses to “Fresh Fettucini with Hedgehog or Shiitake Mushrooms and Ricotta – Quick and Easy Recipe”

  1. Reply
    January 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    This is definitely my kind of recipe. I am obsessed with fresh ricotta. Unfortunately, whenever I buy some it doesn’t stick around for long. I eat most of it standing in front of the fridge with a spoon. If I’m feeling especially fancy I top a bit with honey or balsamic vinegar in a bowl. But this recipe has strengthened my resolve to save it for pasta.

  2. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    January 22, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    Laura – you’ve been watching my kitchen webcam haven’t you!

  3. Reply
    January 23, 2009 at 1:55 am #

    This sounds absolutely wonderful and there’s no doubt I’ll be making it in the very near future (I’m thinking maybe for dinner tomorrow night). Thank you for the recipe.

  4. Reply
    January 24, 2009 at 6:56 am #

    I was thinking chanterelles would sound great in this recipe just as you were comparing it to hedgehog. Didn’t know about hedgehog but I’m going to search for some.

  5. Reply
    January 25, 2009 at 3:16 am #

    This dish looks amazing.
    I love pasta dishes for weeknight dinners.

  6. Reply
    January 25, 2009 at 3:01 pm #

    Oh I love this idea! Fresh ingredients, simple preparation, and it looks delicious. Definitely bookmarking this one!

  7. Reply
    February 17, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    Hi, I’ve been waiting to try this and try it we did on Sun. Part of the adventure for me was a trip to our fm to get fresh herbs, pasta and Calabro ricotta. We made two batches. The first course was very simple: fresh tagliatelle, ricotta, sea salt & freshly ground pepper, and newly cut thai basil. Delish! For the second course we sauteed (and then simmered for a long time) regular button mushrooms in butter, garlic and red wine. Tossed with the pasta, ricotta, a bit of S&P and then put back on the heat for a few minutes. Third course (for him) was lamb roasted with fresh rosemary, olive oil, S&P, and breadcrumbs, and we shared a salad of mixed baby greens/arugula/and fresh sage. Homemade balsamic vinegar dressing – excellent. Finished with few chocolate truffles with fresh straw & blue berries. The leftover basil pasta I had the next day with the leftover balsa/vin soaked salad on top. EXCELLENT!!! Thanks Michael – I am glad I stumbled upon your site.

  8. Reply
    Michael Natkin
    February 17, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    Wow Jyotsna, that sounds like an amazing meal. Thanks for writing about it!

  9. Reply
    May 20, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    YUM! I may add some lemon juice in addition to the zest. Awesome recipe, thanks!

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