Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Make room for the mushrooms!

Three months since my last post. And I've officially missed my first blog birthday by one week. Oh the shame. My first recipe post was on the 18th September so I'll try to bake you (me) a cake for then.

Since I last posted here I've been working 6 day weeks at a busy country estate with all the weddings, parties and events that this entails. I have no other excuses. I've been knackered. On the other hand I've created and perfected tonnes of lovely meals over the summer that I just need to photograph and blog. So if you are interested in lots of healthy yet filling salads as well as the odd cream heavy pasta dish keep watching this space. Now we are almost in September I officially get my life back and hopefully over the next 2 weeks normal blog service will be resumed.

And speaking of cream heavy pasta dishes I want to share this lovely mushroom tagliatelle with you. It's rich and smooth and its taste belies the fact that it takes less than 30 mins to make. You all know by now that I'm a little mushroom obsessed but the beauty of this dish is that you don't need to use fancy wild mushrooms or truffles. I use large field mushrooms with a hint of nutmeg to bring out the sweetness so it's nice and cheap. I assume 80-100g tagliatelle per person, depending on who I'm feeding so this recipe feeds 4 with nice sturdy servings.

The flavour trick behind this (and any cream sauce) is reducing the wine to a syrup as much as you dare before it starts to burn. You'll know when this happens as you'll start choking and spluttering on the fumes;-) Then add the cream and boil hard to reduce and thicken. The result combines all the flavour of the wine and dairy in a delicious, unctuous sauce that coats the pasta and bursts with flavour.

Mushroom tagliatelle

  • 350g tagliatelle
  • 4 large field mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pasted
  • 1 tblsp olive oil and 1 knob butter for sautéing
  • 200ml double cream
  • 1 glass white wine
  • S&P to taste
  • Shavings of parmesan for the garnish
  1. Fill a large pan of water and bring to the boil.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil sauté the finely chopped onion and garlic over a medium heat until soft and translucent. Stir continuously to avoid colouring and adjust the heat down if you see it starting to brown.
  3. In a separate shallow pan fry the sliced field mushroom in a knob of butter and a dash of oil until golden brown and almost crisp round the edges. Season the mushrooms while sautéing.
  4. To the onion and garlic now add the white wine and simmer hard until the liquid is almost gone. Then add the cream and bring to the boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and allow to simmer and reduce by a third. Season carefully as the more it reduces the saltier it will become. I half season during cooking and then add any remaining salt once the reduction is complete. Add the pinch of nutmeg at the end.
  5. Once your pasta water is boiling add salt to taste and boil your tagliatelle until al-dente (approx 3 mins for fresh or 10 mins for dried). Always taste the pasta a couple of mins before the time is up just in case it cooks sooner. Drain and add to the cream sauce and stir in the golden mushrooms until completely incorporated. Decorate with a couple of shavings of parmesan.