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Homemade Pasta
With Morel Mushroom Sauce

Here's an unedited, unsolicited review I received of the following recipe from a fellow named Ian:

"Just wanted to say I just tried your recipe with morels..only changes I made were challots instead of garlic or leeks. Allow me to compliment you on THE BEST DAMNED PASTA I have ever tasted. Unbelievable. Thanks!!!"

I hope you'll have the same results. - Roy

Half Free MorelsNothing could be less expensive than this outstanding entree if you are lucky enough to find wild morels and brave enough to make your own pasta. I'll list plenty of substitute ingredients so that you can make this at home after forging at your local market rather than in the woods. However, if you've never had either morel mushrooms or homemade pasta before, they are both worth a try.

(Right - Morchella semilibera)

1 lb. Homemade pasta (recipe below) or 1/2lb. Capellini or thin Linguine (Linguine Fina)
2-3 tablespoons butter (or your favorite substitute)
As many morels (Morchella esculenta, elata and semilibera) as you can find or substitute 2 ounces dry morels or porcini (Boletus Edulis) or one pound of fresh white button mushrooms, Cremini mushrooms or Portabello mushrooms. (Did you know that Cremini, Portabello and white button mushrooms are all the same species of mushroom! - Agaricus bisporus)
1/2 cup of cream or half and half (you can substitute any soup stock or the water from reconstituting dry mushrooms instead of cream if you want to go low cal.)
1 tbsp. chopped wild leeks or garlic
2 tablespoons fresh coarsely chopped parsley
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (to taste)
Pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
(Below - Bill with Big Morels!)

morel-bill-s.jpg (49311 bytes)Slice mushrooms into bite size slices. If using dried mushrooms reconstitute them in a bowl by covering them in warm water for half an hour. Then, lift them from the water and squeeze out most of the liquid. Reserve the liquid.
Melt butter in a large saut pan. Add sliced mushrooms and saut on medium heat. As the mushrooms begin to release their juices, stir in the wild leeks or garlic, the chopped parsley and a pinch of salt.
While the mushrooms are cooking, cook and drain the pasta so it will be ready as soon as the mushroom sauce is done. If the mushrooms begin to dry out, add a little water (use the mushroom water if using dry mushrooms). Cook the mushrooms until they begin to brown in spots. Stir in the cream.
Heat through until the mixture thickens a little (you can add more cream if you are serving 4 or more people.) Stir in a tablespoon or two of grated cheese and add some black pepper. In a large serving bowl mix pasta with the cream sauce a little at a time. if you add too much pasta it will be dry. Serve with fresh ground black pepper and grated cheese. Garnish with fresh parsley sprigs.
This should serve from four to six people depending on appetites.

Homemade Pasta

1 cup white and 1 cup semolina (or 2 cups white flour)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons olive oil
pinch if salt

On a clean working surface pour out the flour and form a well that will hold two eggs. Beat the eggs with the oil and salt, then pour onto the well. With a fork slowly work the flour into the liquid in a circular motion from the inside of the well, but don’t let the egg mixture leak out. When most of the egg is incorporated into the flour start working the dough with your fingers. You can add a little water if needed depending on the size of the eggs. Push away any excess flour and incorporate any lumpy flour into your dough. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes. Shape into a ball and set aside in a bowl covered with a damp cloth for 20-30 minutes. If you have access to a pasta machine (a roller and cutter) you’ll want to use it. If not, divide the dough into quarters and begin to roll it out one section at a time (leave the rest in the covered bowl.) You’ll want to roll it out just as thin as you can. When it’s as thin as you can get it dust with flour and let dry for fifteen minutes. You have several options for cutting and shaping. To make linguine, roll the sections up in loose rolls then slice as thin as you like with a very sharp knife. If the knife is dull your pasta may stick together. Carefully roll out the individual strands and set them on a towel or hang them on a string to dry. Another way to cut the pasta is with a pizza cutter. I make what I call "patches" that way. It’s quick and easy and no matter what shape you make it’s still excellent. Cook as soon as it’s cut or let it dry, it doesn’t matter. Freeze any extra you don’t want to cook.
This pasta will cook very quickly, 3-6 minutes in salted, boiling water. Total time to cooked pasta 50-60 minutes and well worth the effort. Just ask my friend Bill pictured above with the biggest morel I ever saw!

-Roy Reehil

Stonewall Kitchen, LLC (Dot Com Holdings of Buffalo, Inc)


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