Our library has a magazine exchange of sorts. People who have magazines they want to get rid of bring them to the library and put them on a specified table. Those who want the discarded magazines, pick them up and take them home. I will occasionally take home something that catches my eye. One time it was three Gourmet magazines. I enjoyed looking at them and gathering ideas about presentation, food combinations, etc., but most of the gourmet recipes didn’t fit with my budget or taste buds. I did tear out a few recipes, and this was one of the keepers.
It is one of our splurgy recipes, and I only make it on occasion. But it is very worth it! I did make several adaptations based on my budget, our local grocery options (which are limited), and out taste. I’ll include them in brackets. I like to serve this pasta dish with grilled chicken.
Wild Mushroom Pasta
2/3 oz. dried morel or porcini mushrooms [I use dried shitake mushrooms that I find in the oriental section. It is all I can get at our local grocery store.]
1 ¾ cups boiling-hot water
5 tablespoons of unsalted butter [I use olive oil]
½ lb. fresh cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced ¼ inch thick
¾ lb mixed fresh wild mushrooms, such as oyster, chanterelle, or porcini, trimmed and sliced lengthwise ¼ inch thick [I was again forced by availability to substitute. For these, I substitute plain white mushrooms. It is probably better with the wild ones, but the white mushrooms are good too.)
1 large garlic clove, minced
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ lb. dried egg fettuccine [I use plain fettuccine]
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ½ teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest [I leave the lemon zest out since my husband doesn’t care for it and increase the lemon juice]
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
~Soak dried mushrooms in boiling-hot water in a bowl until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain in a paper towel lined sieve set over a bowl and reserve soaking liquid, then rinse the soaked mushrooms. [I just fish the mushrooms out to avoid getting another bowl dirty.] Chop the mushrooms finely.
~Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a heavy 12 inch skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté fresh mushrooms with garlic, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally, until the liquid given off by the mushrooms is evaporated and the mushrooms are browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in chopped soaked mushrooms and reserved mushroom soaking liquid and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat.
~Cook pasta in a 6 to 8 quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 5 minutes. [I follow the pasta package instructions as cooking times vary depending on the brand and kind of pasta.] Reserve ¼ cup of pasta cooking water. Drain pasta in a colander, and then add it to the mushrooms in the skillet. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and cook over moderately high heat, tossing and adding some pasta cooking liquid if necessary to lightly coat the pasta for about 1 minute. Add the chives, parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Toss it well. Serve immediately with cheese and pepper to taste.