Tagliatelle with mushrooms

This is one of my favourite quick pasta dishes. Best with fresh tagliatelle, but dried is fine. Quantities are vague — this will make enough sauce for about 2-3 servings

1 shallot, finely chopped
olive oil
small handful dried mushrooms
2-3 oz fresh mushrooms
1 dsp tomato puree
1 cup stock
2-3 tbsp cream
salt and pepper
freshly grated parmesan

At least half an hour beforehand, put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Put a large pan of water on for the pasta.

Melt olive oil and a knob of butter in a heavy frying pan, and soften the chopped shallot. Meanwhile, drain the dried mushrooms and cut into smallish pieces, reserving the liquid. Add the mushrooms to the pan along with a little of the soaking liquid and let them combine with the shallots while you slice the fresh mushrooms and start to cook the pasta. Add the mushrooms to the pan, and raise the heat a little. Stir around until they have started to soften. The liquid should have more or less evaporated by now. Add the stock and tomato puree, stir around and allow to bubble for 5 minutes or so. When almost ready to serve (i.e. the pasta is cooked) stir in the cream and let the sauce thicken a bit (not too much, it should be quite runny). Season to taste (plenty of black pepper). Drain the pasta, add to the frying pan, and toss with two forks to coat it with the sauce. Divide between plates and sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve immediately.

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