I have made a version of this several times and as you may recall I have always tried to perfect the crispy parmesan coated zucchini strips that perch on top. I may have to go back to Rome Italy to find out how this was done at "Madeleines..."
But what I did differently this time was make the parmesan and zucchini separately and I think I am getting closer to the taste and texture of what I had in Rome.
The Parmesan Crisps: I followed instructions that I had read a few years ago in a cooking magazine - shred the parm and lay on wax paper or parchment paper in small circles (about the size of a 50 cent piece) and bake in a 400 degree oven until they crisp. Let them cool and then remove from the paper.
The Zucchini Strips: The zucchini strips were cut on the thinnest setting of a mandolin, tossed with evoo and roasted in a 400 degree oven on a cookie sheet for 15 minutes, then cooled on a paper towel .
The Entree: Pappardelle with Mushroom Sauce. The sauce used both fresh cremini mushrooms and a dried mixture of mushrooms. To start the sauce I sauteed garlic and onion in evoo until soft and then added the fresh mushrooms. The dried mushrooms were softened in hot water and then added (with the liquid) to the pan. The liquids, chicken broth, cream sherry, madeira, french demi glace were added, reduced, added and reduced. The sauce was seasoned with fresh thyme and ground black pepper. The pasta was cooked according to the package.
The pasta was topped with the sauce, the zucchini and the crumbled parmesan crisps.
I can taste this pasta dish as I type!
The Wine: Carpazo Brunello di Montalcino