Monday, July 5, 2010

Pasta with morels

There's nothing like cooking a dish in April and posting it in July - after the season has passed. But such a rich, earthy dish that is ripe for substitutions shouldn't be left high and dry. It makes me feel secretive and I worry the dish will feel under-appreciated.
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Minnesotans prize their morels. We have friends who are brothers and each know 'secret' trees that erupt with morels in the spring. And neither will tell anyone where they are. They won't even tell each other.


If you're lucky to get a hold of these earthy morsels, don't wash them. Just shake them and wipe them with a paper towel. They do have a small amount of toxins in them so they must be cooked. This is not a salad mushroom.

To find them at the St. Paul Farmer's Market you must be at the market at 7 a.m. on a Saturday. (I love the Market but am very attached to my bedroom at 7 a.m. on a Saturday.) By 7:10 a.m., they're gone. I had secured some morels but not enough for the dish. I filled in with shiitake, oyster and crimini mushrooms. You can make this with a mixture of any of your favorite mushrooms. And soak some dried porcini and add them into the mix. This dish can never be earthy enough.


  • Pasta with Morels Ingredients - generously serves 4
    2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 16 ounces favorite mushrooms (I had 8 ounces of morels and 8 ounces of "other")
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves
  • 12 ounces tagliatelle or fettuccine (the sauce adheres nicely to the wide noodles; although curly noodles - a rigatoni would also help the sauce and mushrooms to cling to it)
Coarsely chop your mushrooms. Heat your butter and oil. Add your shallot and saute till soft (about 1-2 minutes).
Add mushrooms and saute till softened - about 8 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the chopped parsley. If pan is dry, add a few more drops of olive oil.


Add your half and half and simmer together 4-5 minutes. The half-and-half will reduce a bit and become thickened.

While mushrooms are cooking, cook pasta according to package directions. This is heavenly-good with fresh pasta. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta cooking liquid in case the pasta is not coated with sauce.


Combine pasta with mushroom sauce. Add the remaining Italian parlsey. If pasta is too dry, add a wee bit of the reserved pasta water. Breathe in the heady aroma. Some wanted freshly-grated Parmesan. Mushrooms and cheese. Wonders from fungus.


I complied. I hope all had a magical summer weekend and to my American friends, Happy Belated Fourth. I hope your holiday was celebratory.

38 comments:

girlichef said...

Oh, what an earthy, comforting dish!! I hope I'm lucky enough to secure some morels this year!! =)

Chow and Chatter said...

oh wow they must be good if they sell that fast, definately something I need to try yum
hope you find some lil quail eggs

Velva said...

Pasta and mushrooms always a wonderful flavor combination.

I am so envious that you can forage for morels. In some instances, that the foraging spots are even kept secret in families-how cool is that? Very cool!
There are times that while walking along a local trail I see mushrooms but, I can never identify them properly (sigh).

I can totally appreciate your dish that your prepared in April for July's post. :-)

Jen_from_NJ said...

I have never foraged for morels. I must add this to my bucket list. This dish looks fantastic and I do love mushrooms!

Foodessa said...

Too little space to tell you how much I love the combo of pasta and mushrooms. Now, morels are truly spectacular in look as well as taste...and I wish I had them more often.
Claudia...I'm still sipping my cappucino at 7:00...so, I'll pick you up at 9:00 ;o))

Have a great evening and flavourful wishes,
Claudia

Magic of Spice said...

Fantastic dish...Love morels:)

Gina Stanley said...

I wish we could forage for them here where I'm at, but I'll try this when I see them at farmer's market, thanks for sharing!

Adventures in Domestic Cooking said...

Oh gracious, this looks marvelous. Mushrooms are wonderful!

Angie's Recipes said...

I hope I could get some quality morels with reasonable price here...or I might try the recipe just with the Pfefferling....your pasta with fungus looks terrific!

Monet said...

I adore morel mushrooms. When I lived in Baltimore, I bought from a wonderful mushroom farmer. I need to find one here in Colorado because this pasta looks great!

pegasuslegend said...

Wow what a perfect dish for me~ I'll be right over..one of my favorites is shrooms and pasta...love it~ never heard of these types, will have to read up on them. I love the sauce on this pasta... and exactly how I would start off making it..of course I have to add a quart of wine in my or more lol just kidding! sounds fabulous wish I could try this! hope you had a nice fourth as well...thanks again for stopping by and enriching my life knowing learning about a new shroom~ Claudia

Wanda said...

I can positively taste your delicious dish, Claudia. I have a spot where I can always find 'A' morel...that's right...so far only one springs up there each year! I'm sure there are others out there in the woods somewhere!

janet said...

Wow, you have me drooling here, I love morels!! You are so lucky, our farmers' market has never had them.
My grandmother used to pick them, but I never learned to identify them, and I don't want to poison my family.

OysterCulture said...

Morels are hands down my favorite mushroom, and seeing them all up close and personal on your webiste had me craving them like nobody's business. What yummy looking dishes.

Mary said...

Talk about perfect timing :-). I picked up a basket of fresh morels at our Saturday Market this past weekend. They were not expensive and I was able to buy two boxes for $9. I'll definitely be trying your pasta. It looks fantastic. I hope you are having a wonderful day blessings...Mary

Viviane @ Taste-Buds said...

Pasta and mushrooms are always a winner combo, I think it is the ultimate comfort food.

sweetlife said...

pasta and mushroom are always a hit, I love the combo of mushroom you added..great recipe

sweetlife

Barbara GF said...

I can almost smell that dish from here, Claudia — divine earthiness. And it's never too late to post such a scrumptious dish.

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

Wow! That looks wondrously good! I do love my fungi and there's that GORGEOUS platter I like...again!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

My oh my that platter of pasta looks so creamy and delicious, i can almost taste it across the miles.

tasteofbeirut said...

I have yet to try this prized mushroom! Pity! I really want to! Hope I will soon and your dish looks just excellent.

Juliana said...

Claudia....this pasta is sure a winner...look so creamy and tasty...yummie!

Gera @ Sweets Foods Blog said...

This is comforting earthy pasta that will be a winner with my family!!

Cheers,

Gera

Cinnamon-Girl said...

I'm in mushroom heaven, Claudia! I never had a morel before - they must be extra special! Hope you had a wonderful 4th. xo

My Little Space said...

Morel is something you can't easily find very often and pretty pricy too. Glad that you got them to make such a comforting meal. Hope you're enjoying your day.
Cheers, Kristy

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

Gorgeous dish! I'm a little jealous of the morels, can't get them here!

We Are Not Martha said...

After reading this post, my stomach is most definitely growling. A LOT! Morels make me very happy :)

Sues

biz319 said...

I wish I liked mushrooms - I love the smell of cooking them for my husband, but I can't stand the smell!

Lynda said...

This is a marvelous dish Claudia....so simple, yet creamy and delicious! I love mushrooms, but I don't know the first thing about foraging for them. I have friends that hunt morels, but they certainly don't share locations with anyone either!

Sook said...

Ha ha I think there are several recipes from like a year ago and still haven't posted... This recipe looks fabulous. I love those mushrooms.

theUngourmet said...

Yum! I am crazy about mushrooms of any and every variety. Well...except those crazy magic ones. No thank you! ;)

This looks so delicious! Hope your 4th was nice as well!

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

Great info on morels! Your dish looks fabulous!

Jann said...

Thanks so much for visiting my non-food blog...the 'shrooms and pasta dish looks delicious! I'm on the WW plan but I'm sure I could tweak the recipes if necessary and still have a yummy dish. :o)

Kevin said...

Mushroom pasta is always welcome!

Lori Lynn said...

You can post this dish every month of the year, no one will complain!
LL

creampuff said...

Do you know that I have never had morels!!! This looks delicious!

Bo said...

This looks so comforting and wonderful.

Jean said...

I just had some fabulous morels this weekend and I couldn't get enough. I'd love to use them with your recipe next time--looks great!