Autumn mushrooms

Distracted in my pre-holiday tasks today by the sight of a mountain of foraged mushrooms on a stall outside Caruluccio’s.

I couldnt resist and walked away with Ceps, Porcini, Winter Chanterelles and Flats. And a good chunk of truffle butter all wrapped up in a little greaseproof parcel and string.  Great Scott their marketing is good.

So this evening I picked them over carefully, discarding grass, bracken and insects, checking no other little intruders of mushrooms pretending to be pukka were present. Then wiped them over and peeled the Porcini stalks, which were a bit gravelly.  Sadly found one of them full of little holes. Invaders had already eaten the inside.  Anyway, set the butter and some olive oil in a wide flat pan to melt gently, adding the zest of half a lemon and just a few chilli flakes. Threw in the chopped mushroooms (kept the Chanterelle whole) and grated over a small clove of garlic and let them stew for about 15 minutes, turning frequently. Then upped the heat and poured in 15ml good balsamic (the thick stuff) and 10ml light soy sauce.  Stirred again and bubbled up till the balsamic  almost evaporated.  Then added just two tablespoons of half fat creme fraiche and squeezed in the juice of half a lemon.  The temptation is to add too much cream but I find its too rich with the dusky mushroom and truffle.

Take mushrooms off the heat.  For two people, throw in three good handfull’s of papardelle pasta (thick ribbons) into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook till just al dente.  Spoon out about 3tbsp of the pasta water into the mushrooms and stir it in to loosen the sauce into an emulsion, then drain the pasta and whilst in the colander, add lots of black pepper.  Then put into the dish with the mushrooms and gently combine, adding a few slivers of sage and flatleaf parsley till the pasta is coated with glistening sauce and then add a generous handful of grated parmesan.

That’s all you need folks.  Simple. So tasty.  Glass of red, sofa, and Richard Thompson on the CD player.

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