yay! it's morel season! I friend of mine is an avid shroomer, and he gave me a couple handfuls of his find. I haven't been able too cook much lately (hence the tumbleweeds blowing across ironstef...), so I wanted to go all out. well, not ALL out, as it was a weeknight. But I did find this recipe for a simple homemade pasta with mushroom sauce. Homemade pasta...that's pretty special, right? So that's how I spent my thursday night, and it was glorious and uplifting to cook again. The results were good...the pasta was a bit dense...I don't think I cooked it long enough. The sauce was rich and meaty-tasting, despite having no meat.
Homemade pasta with morel sauce
2 cups AP flour
6 Tblsp. water
1.5 Tblsp. Olive Oil
5 large egg yolks
water for boiling (6 quarts)
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 shallot, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
large handful fresh morel mushrooms (about 1.5 cups) cleaned and halved
about 2 cups cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, washed, sliced
1 tsp. dried thyme
pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
salt & pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups chicken stock
toasted pine nuts and parmesan for serving
combine flour and dash of salt in food processor. combine water, olive oil and egg yolks and stir well with a whisk. with processor running, pour egg mixture in through the chute, processing just until dough forms a ball. turn out onto a lightly floured surface, knead 5 ties. shape into a disc, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
pat dough into a rectangle approx. 8" x 3", 1 " thick. Divide into 8 equal portions. working with one portion at a time (cover remaining dough to prevent drying), divide dough into 14 equal pieces. Roll ech piece between your palms to form a 2 inch strand. put strands on a well floured pan. repeat with remaining dough.
boil 6 quarts of water. Shake excess flour off pasta and add to boiling water, cooking until done, about 1.5-2 minutes. Drain.
heat oilve oil in large skillet over med. high heat. Add onion, sautee for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. make a clear spot in pan, add garlic and thyme, cook for about a minute, then add salt & pepper. Add cremini and morel mushrooms, reduce heat, cover and cook for about 4 minutes. remove cover, and cook about 2 minutes until liquid almost evaporates. clear a spot in the pan, add tomato paste, cook about a minute, then stir tomato paste in with mushroom mixture. Stir in 1 cup of chicken broth. cook for 8 minutes until very thick. add rest of chicken broth, cook for 4 minutes more until slightly thick. Turn off heat and toss sauce with cooked pasta. serve topped with toasted pine nuts and grated parmesan.