Serves 4
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Curb your cravings for pasta with this rich and creamy mushroom orecchiette with gremolata crumbs. Tossed in sauce and the fragrance of mushrooms, this is a perfect weeknight meal to end a tiring day with.



  • 30 g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium brown onion (150 g), chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup (125 ml) white wine
  • 200 g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 300 ml pouring cream
  • 200 g (6½ ounces) sliced pancetta
  • 500 g dry orecchiette pasta


  • 30 g butter
  • 1 ciabatta roll (100 g), torn coarsely
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsps chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tsps finely grated lemon rind

Heat butter and oil in a medium frying pan; cook onion and garlic, stirring, for 5 mins or until onion is soft. Add wine to pan; boil, uncovered, until reduced by half. Stir in mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat, for 5 mins or until softened. Add cream, stir over medium heat for 2 mins or until thickened slightly. Season to taste; cover to keep warm.


Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180 C. Place pancetta, in a single layer on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 10 mins or until golden and crisp.


Make gremolata crumbs. Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; add torn bread and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until bread is golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and rind.


Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain, reserving ¼ cup (60 ml) of cooking water. Return pasta to pan.


Add hot sauce to pasta; toss gently to combine. If mixture is a little thick, add some of the reserved pasta water. Serve pasta topped with crumbled pancetta, and gremolata crumbs.

TIP You can use button mushrooms for a mild flavour, if you prefer.

Recipe is not suitable to freeze. Serve with a green salad.

Photo: bauersyndication.com.au

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