Sunday, 17 June 2012

Oh Heavens!

Capelli degli Angeli con Funghi di Betulla
Angel Hair Pasta with Birch Mushrooms

Angels hair pasta, delicate and light and delicious as can be... it must have been an angel that came up with the idea of making a spaghetti so fine! So it seemed to me to be a perfect match for the wonderful little Birch mushrooms I picked up yesterday at the indoor market- truly a match made in heaven!

Birch mushrooms are dainty little flat-topped mushrooms that grow in clusters... and totally new to me. They must be very seasonal as the market hall was full of them yesterday and yet I have never seen them before... so the message that I got yesterday was "get them while they're fresh!" - And that is exactly what I did!

Having two such delicate ingredients to make your supper out of has one great advantage... it is going to be quick and easy to make! The pasta takes 5 minutes... so get the water boiling whilst you start with the mushrooms- you will be finished in next to no time!

First, chop some bacon into very thin slices and get it sizzling in your frying pan. Add the mushrooms and grate with pepper and nutmeg... no salt at this point. Here are a couple of tips for you... Number one: Do not wash the mushrooms! They are very clean-growing mushrooms and if you cut them off at the stem, they will need only a little dusting off with some kitchen paper to remove any grains of soil or dust. There is nothing worse than holding a mushroom under the tap and turning it into a sponge that soaks itself full of water! Pleas... no soggy mushrooms! And tip Number two: don't add salt to early, as this also draws moisture out of the mushrooms which will turn them rubbery. Ain't I good to you to share that information? Yeah... I'm a pretty nice guy! ;-)

When the mushrooms begin to brown, add some finely chopped garlic, plenty of finely chopped parsley, some finely sliced Spring onion and finally your salt! By now the angels hair should be cooked and ready to be drained and added to the frying pan. Add a pat of butter and a little milk and grate once again with fresh nutmeg and pepper. Toss or stir together well, to make sure all of the ingredients are nicely distributed and serve with some grated  salted ricotta cheese- wonderful! Such a simple little suppertime dish- but like I said... a heavenly one at that! Hope you enjoy it too!

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