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One of my favorite treats during this time of the year is morel mushrooms. Morels, with an earthy, nutty, steak-like flavor, are considered by many to be the king of mushrooms. They certainly are in our family!

Morels have a sponge-like appearance and hunting them down can be quite challenging.

morel mushrooms

According to Mother Earth News, their five year growth cycle and tendency to cross-pollinate make finding them something akin to a connect-the-dots game. In our neck of the woods, morels are plentiful after wildfires, a time after which they tend to grow abundantly in the forest.

I made a pasta dish with my recent collection of morels. I’m hoping for more before the summer is over.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½-2  cups of morel mushrooms
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • ½ shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 TBSP tarragon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • ¼ cup cream
  • Sprinkle of flour
  • Parmesan cheese
  • ½ pound pasta, prepared al dente

Sauté mushrooms in butter and olive oil for about 15 minutes, until somewhat crisp. Add shallots and garlic on low heat for another 2-3 minutes. Add tarragon. At this point, you can proceed to the next step or turn off the heat until you are ready to finish the sauce.

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When the pasta is almost ready, add the chicken broth, cream and Parmesan cheese to the mushroom mixture. Mix in a little flour to thicken, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the sauce over the pasta and add more grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Serve with a tossed salad and bread. Serves 2-3.

Note: The “negotiable” ingredient in this dish is the cream. If you prefer a broth flavor and lower fat dish, leave out the cream. If you prefer a creamier, richer taste, you can add more cream.

Photo courtesy of Mother Earth News.

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