Raised Bed Gardening Blog

Mushrooms in the Forest

Many years ago, I would make an annual pilgrimage to Breitenbush Hot Springs, south of Portland, Oregon, for the annual Mycology Conference. For 4 wonderful days in the woods, about 150-200 of us would gather, listen to lectures, watch slide shows, and...eat!! Paul Stamets and Dr. Andrew Weil were there every year, as well as other select teachers. On the last night, armed with pointed bamboo chopsticks, we would take turns spearing shiitakes, matsutakes, and many other delicious species off the grills, and feast! The memories have stayed with me all these years, although some of the mycological details have slipped through the cerebral cracks. However, I have retained enough to enjoy foraging for chanterelles and porcinis here in the mountains of New Mexico. One of my favorite recipes that remains is Fettucine in a Porcini Mushroom Cream Sauce....

Put 1/2 cup dried porcinis in a bowl, and cover with 1 cup hot water. (For the addicted mycrophiles, you can put more, as long as its in a 2 to 1 ration with the water.) Let soak for about 15 minutes, and then drain, reserving the liquid for later. Roughly chop the mushrooms, and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a bowl, and cook the fettuccine until al dente- about 7-8 minutes.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil, and 2 tbsps of butter in a skillet. Add 1/4c minced shallots, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add 2 tsps minced garlic (we put more!), and cook for about 1 minute. Add the chopped mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the reserved mushroom liquid, bring to a boil, and cook until the liquid is nearly evaporated- about 2 minutes. Add 1-1/2c heavy cream, 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, and simmer 4-5 minutes, till the cream is thick and reduced. Add 2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley, and stir all.

Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce, tossing well to coat. Add 2 tbsps grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, toss, and remove from heat.

Divide the pasta between 2 bowls, garnish each with 2 tbsps PG cheese, and serve.


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