Wild Mushroom and Green Pasta Gratin
Weve been making variations on this in early Winter 2000. Play
with the ingredients!
2 oz. dried Boletus edulis (we used fresh chanterelles.)
5 tbsp. sweet butter
1 tbsp. all purpose flour
1.5 cups reduced chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
1 clove garlic
Sprigs of fresh parsley
Green fettuccini for 4
This pasta is gratineed in a hot oven. The top is browned and
crusty, the interior creamy and aromatic. The recipe works very
well with other species of mushroom as well, fresh or dried:
morels, horn of plenty, and so on.
Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water.
Let them soak until soft. To make the sauce, melt 1 tbsp. butter
in a saucepan. Add the flour and blend together. Let the roux
cook gently a few minutes. Whisk in 1.5 c. reduced chicken stock
and the cream Season with salt and pepper and a suggestion of
nutmeg. Draw off 2-3 tbsp. of the juice from the mushrooms and
add to the sauce. Put the mixture in the top of a double boiler
and simmer for an hour or so. Carefully sort through the mushrooms
and cut away any pockets of dirt and grit. Cut them into slices.
Chop the garlic and parsley.
Sauté the mushrooms in butter for a few minutes. Season with
salt and pepper, then add the garlic and parsley. Cook the mushrooms
as though they were fresh (even if theyre not). Add the sauce.
Cook the fettuccine and add to the mushroom sauce. Season the
noodles. Put into a buttered gratin dish and cover the top with
freshly grated parmesan and put in a hot oven (400-425F) for 15-20
minutes. It is ready when the top is crusty and golden.
notes from meriko: Weve used all kinds of pasta, and thrown
different veggies in with the mushrooms, as well. Weve sometimes
added a bread-crumb cheese mixture for a topping, instead of just
the cheese. If you do this, dot the top with butter before baking.
From Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza, & Calzone, 1984.