Friday, June 6, 2008

what to do with morels

‘Tis the season. If you find morels in your local market, or know a knowledgable forager who’s willing to share the bounty, a fresh pasta with morels is about as good as it gets. If you have the time--a lazy, rainy afternoon—to make the pasta, lovely, but your local market probably carries a reasonably good fresh pasta. Pick something long and flat, and not too wide. And in a pinch, a good dried pasta, like something by Rustichella d’Abruzzo, will suit just fine. Also a showstopper as a topping for crostini (toasts) or bruschetta (grilled bread, and yes, the bread should be slightly charred around the edges for rustic flavor).

A sauce made of morels is deliciously simple, and doesn’t need lots of other ingredients to make magic.

Sugo per morel (for two)

as many Morels as you’ve got (ideally two big handfuls)

some Butter

dash of Cream (optional)

2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp Minced red red or yellow onion

dry white wine

salt and pepper to taste

Make sure morels are clean—use a soft bristled kitchen/food brush. This is ideal for brushing off any dirt. Remove most of the stem, all but a quarter inch, from the cap of the morels. Cut the caps into thin slivers. Soften the onion in the fats over low heat (butter, cream, olive). Add the mushrooms. Season well with salt and pepper, and stir well to coat with the fats. Add a little splash of white wine, and bring the mushrooms to a gentle simmer. Cook until tender which might take twenty to twenty-five minutes. If necessary, add a little more white wine or water if things seem to be drying out. Taste and correct for seasoning. Toss with pasta, or put on top of crostini or bruschetta.

--Deirdre and Caleb


Michael S said...

This is a dish I wanted to last and last. At least when I ate Caleb's version of it! I've had two exquisite dishes containing morels this week: roasted rabbit with morels at Sepia Restaurant in Chicago and tagliatelle with morels at pane e salute. Both dishes were exquisite, thought I'll admit that it's hard to beat the earthiness and simplicity of this one.

Michael S said...
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