Monday, May 2, 2011

Pate' di funghi

I use a mix of mushrooms....champignon and cremini (best to use fresh porcini if you can!)

The recipe is soooo simple but very tasty.  (It is one of the best in my arsenal, but I will share it with you.)  I learned this from my Italian mother in law.  The first time I ate this was at her home during Christmas.  (It is tradition for Tuscans to have crostini and ravioli for the holidays, Bruna happens to generally serve figatini and this mushroom pate.)  I make this as an appetizer or sometimes if it is just me and my husband we eat this, bread and a salad for dinner.  The recipe makes enough that if you wanted to save half and mix in with pasta (shown below) you can.  Generally I have made this with dried porcini and a mix of fresh mushrooms, but recently I have not had any dried porcini on hand and just used fresh mushrooms along with the porcini broth from the bouillon and produced excellent results.

The secret to unrivaled flavor, I fill a sauce pot with water and mix with one of these to make my porcini broth.  If you can use dried porcini or the best, fresh, this is a substitute that works well.

Heat a little olive oil along with two diced shallots and a couple cloves of garlic cut in half

In the meantime, chop up all your mushrooms as fine as you can...this chop is too rough but I was lazy this day

Add the mushrooms to the shallots....the mushrooms will cook down,  add some more olive oil in this step

At this point the mushrooms have been cooking and I have added about 1 cup of my porcini broth...sorry that is my foot that crept into the shot

Add some tomato paste (Cirio if you are lucky) along with marjoram and oregano

Now the pate is pretty cooked, but we need to thicken it up a bit....add 1 tablespoon flour through a fine sieve as shown

Last step add a pat of butter, mix in and add some parsley and salt to finish....maybe a bit too much olive oil here, but you need to use quite a bit for this dish to be effective

Finished pate.....serve right away with prepared bread (see below)
Drizzle good olive oil on sliced bread and bake in oven for a few minutes


As mentioned before, you can mix this pate with a pasta to create another meal


  1. One of my favorite!!! This dish is not for people who try to stay away from bread... I don't...

  2. This is so yummy! Can you put up recipe on this one?

  3. Will try my best as I learned this dish by simply watching Bruna (my non English speaking mother in law.)


    2 containers of mushrooms (I usually buy one cremini and one white button around 4-5 cups I guess)
    1 shallot
    2-3 cloves garlic
    Olive oil (lots)
    Fresh parsley for garnish
    Porcini bouillon (1 cube) or I packet of dried porcini
    Tomato paste (3 or 4 squeezes from tube)
    1 tablespoon flour
    2 pats of butter
    Dried marjoram for seasoning
    Salt for seasoning


    Coat your pan with olive oil, heat over medium high and add chopped shallot to warmed oil. Let cook for a minute or so add garlic cloves whole (garlic added like this is for subtle flavor.)
    After a few minutes add the chopped (the finer the chop the better and the more like a smooth pate it will resemble) up mushrooms to your shallots and garlic. It will look like a lot of mushrooms, but they will cook down. I usually add more olive oil at this point as the mushrooms always look "dry." Be very liberal with adding the olive oil as it will only make the dish taste better and you can always strain extra oil off the top if the finished dish has too much.
    Depending on if you are using the porcini cube or dried porcini do this:

    Porcini bouillon: Fill a small sauce pot with water and bring to a boil add cube and let dissolve, you will add this water to the cooking mushrooms

    Dried porcini: Fill a small sauce pot with water and bring to an almost boil. Add the dried mushrooms to the water and turn the heat off. Cover the pot with a lid and let sit for a few minutes. After this take the now not dry dried porcini out of the water (save water) and chop up the porcini and add to cooking mushrooms. You will add the saved porcini water to the cooking mushrooms.

    You can be preparing your porcini bouillon or dried porcini while the other mushrooms are cooking down. Whenever your porcini bouillon or dried porcini are finished cooking, add about 1-1.5 cups of the water (depending on how dry your mushroom mix looks.) Let this water cook down for a few minutes. Add the tomato paste now and mix in. Add your marjoram and salt now, about 1 teaspoon marjoram and 1/2 teaspoon salt (you can add more salt later if needed but you don't want to take over your porcini flavor.)

    Take a fine mesh sieve and put 1 tablespoon flour in it, sprinkle the flour into the cooking mushrooms and mix in, (this will help tighten up your pate.)

    Cook down for another minute, then add the butter. Turn off the fire and let the butter melt and stir in to the mushroom mix. (This will also help your pate to tighten up.) Finish with chopped up parsley for garnish and finishing salt like Maldon if you have any. (Tastes just as good without the parsley and finishing salt.)

    You are now ready to serve the pate with either bread or mix it into pasta.