one of those foods that people seem either to love or hate.
Texture is the
reason I hear cited most often by those who dislike them.
For those with a penchant for fungi, there are more than 10,000
varieties of mushrooms in North America alone, about half of them edible.
One of my
favorite places to find many of those varieties is in Pike Place Market in
We went there
last year on vacation. And you know what that means, right? I cooked.
I was like a
mycologist in a forest. (Think, “kid in a candy store.”)
There were so
many varieties available from my favorite green grocer in Pike Place Market: Frank's Quality Produce.
The best news
is that they will ship mushrooms to you when they are in season.
That day, I
bought morels, lobster mushrooms, yellow chanterelles, white chanterelles, king
oyster mushrooms, a couple of cauliflower mushrooms, and one black truffle, with the plan
of making them into the most amazing pasta sauce ever.
And that I
Wild & Crazy Mushrooms and Truffle
pancetta, preferably imported, diced
shallots, thinly sliced lengthwise
mixed sliced wild mushrooms
ground black pepper
1 small black
truffle, shaved or thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 cup heavy
1 pound fresh
chopped fresh parsley, for serving
Bring a large
pot of water to a boil.
In a very large
skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the pancetta and shallots
until the pancetta is slightly golden and the shallots are clear and beginning
to turn brown on the edges.
Turn the heat
to high and add the mushrooms. After a few minutes without stirring, the
mushrooms will begin to release their moisture. Stir, and continue to sauté,
stirring, until they are done.Season well with salt and plenty of black pepper. Add the truffle, if
using, and cook for about 30 second. Then add the cream and cook to reduce the
cream a bit. Remove from the heat, and prepare the pasta.
Add a good
handful of salt to the boiling water. Cook pasta for about 3 minutes, or until
al dente. Remove from the pot, reserving cooking liquid. Return mushrooms to
the heat, add the pasta, and toss well. Add a little of the pasta water, if
needed, to make a creamy sauce.
4 plates and serve with chopped parsley and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.