Ingredients – serves 2 -3 Adapted from The Good Cook by Simon Hopkinson
30g dried porcini mushrooms
25g plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g pancetta, cut into 2cm/1in pieces – I used speck
3-4 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
Preheat the oven to 190C. Warm the milk in a saucepan, add the porcini mushrooms, remove from the heat and soak for 10 minutes. Strain through a sieve suspended over a bowl, pressing lightly on the mushrooms with the back of ladle to extract all the milk.
Heat the butter in a clean saucepan, add the flour and stir over a low heat for 2-3 minutes without colouring the roux. Pour in the porcini-flavoured milk all in one go and whisk together vigorously until smooth. Cook the sauce for a further few minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.
Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a small frypan and cook the pancetta or speck for a few minutes until the fat has rendered a little and starting to crisp. Set aside.
Bring a large pan of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain in a colander, tip into a roomy bowl and carefully stir in the sauce, porcini and pancetta until well combined.
Place the pasta into a lightly buttered shallow oven-proof dish. Smooth the surface and cover with the parmesan then drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges and golden-brown.